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A Simple Key to a Happy Life
By Joel Osteen - Nov 01, 2010
I have a friend that I used to play basketball with a lot. One day, he started having problems with his eyes. He was always very strong, healthy and active, not to mention a good ball player. But his eyes continued to bother him month after month. Finally he went to the doctor, and after many tests, they diagnosed him with cancer of the eye. He was advised that after the surgery, he would probably lose his vision. Of course, he was very distraught when he went in for the big operation. Since the problem was behind his eyes, the doctors were able to understand more as they were operating on him. Much to their surprise, they discovered that it was not cancer after all. It was an unusual fungus that they were able to completely remove and save his vision. When he woke up from the operation and heard the good news he said, "That was the greatest day of my life."

Think about it. He didn't just win the lottery. He didn't just buy a new house. He didn't just get a big promotion. He simply got the news that he was going to be able to continue seeing. He said, "Joel, now every morning I get up and look at things on purpose. I stare at my children. I stare at my wife. I'll go out and look up at the trees. I'll pick up an acorn and just stare at it." Why is that? Because he almost lost his vision; now the fact that he can see has taken on a totally different meaning.

Have you ever woken up and thought it was the best day of your life just because you could see? It's interesting how quickly our perspective changes when we find out we might not have something that we take for granted.

I want to encourage you today to thank God for the things you've already been blessed with. If you can see, talk or walk, be grateful. If you have friends, family or opportunities, learn to appreciate them. Don't go around complaining about what's wrong; instead, change your focus. I heard somebody say once, "Instead of complaining that your hair is turning gray, be grateful that it's not turning loose!"

Staying grateful is a key to living a happy life. That's why David said in Psalm 34, "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Notice how long; continually, all the time. David knew a secret; you can't praise and complain at the same time. If you're constantly thanking God for His goodness, meditating on what He has done, thinking about how He has blessed you, you're headed in the right direction. You're opening the door for Him to move on your behalf and set you up for victory all the days of your life!
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