A Pair-of-Docs: The Serenity Prayer #5 Reasonably Happy


A Pair-of-Docs: The Serenity Prayer #5 Reasonably Happy


God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.


Living one day at a time;

enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

forever in the next.



Prayer is preparatory, pray gets you ready for action. We’ve been exploring how to activate the serenity prayer in our lives.  In this session, we are considering reasonable and supreme happiness.


Reasonable happiness doesn’t mean you are emotionally happy all the time as if life is just one big fun time after another. Reasonable happiness doesn’t mean that everything good is happening in your life right now and that things are going your way.  In this life, we have mountaintop experiences of elation and we have deep valleys of struggle.  Between the highs and the lows, we live our life.  No one expects you to be elated when bad things happen.  So what we are looking to activate is reasonable happiness.


The big secret for maintaining reasonable happiness in this life is activating the serenity prayer in your life.


Reasonable happiness comes when you accept the things that you cannot change while mustering up the courage to take charge and change the things you can.


Reasonable happiness comes when you allow God’s guidance in your life.  The safest place to find this guidance is in the Bible. (Psalm 19:105)


Reasonable happiness comes when you take one day at a time, forgetting the past and pressing on today to make tomorrow better. (Philippians 3:13-14)


Reasonable happiness comes when you squeeze the most joy you can out of the moment and when no joy is to be found finding joy in your relationship with God.

(Romans 15:13)


Reasonable happiness comes by understanding that overcoming hardships makes you a better person, and that suffering is also a meeting place with God.

(2 Peter 1:5-8, James 1:12)


Reasonable happiness comes when you stop trying to change people.

(Philippians 2:12-13 change is up to each one)


Blessed is he, who has learned to bear what he cannot change, and to give up with dignity, what he cannot save.


Reasonable happiness comes when you trust that God will see you through.

          (Psalm 29:11, Psalm 31:24)


Reasonable happiness comes when you bend your knee to God. (Romans 12:1-2)


Every believer can be reasonably happy if they activate the serenity prayer in their lives. Reasonable happiness means your inner life is calm, peaceful, and untroubled, in other words, you are experiencing serenity.



Tips for being reasonably happy:

1.     For me (Boswith)to find reasonable happiness I had to give up magical thinking, that prayer would make all things right. Reasonable happiness is found in doing your best, praying it's blessed, and allowing God to take care of the rest.


2.     Give up on perfection.


3.     grieve all your losses.         


4.     Use your gifts and graces to love on others



Supreme Happiness is when it can’t get any better than it is right now, and the now keeps on keeping on.


Supreme happiness for a believer is very different from what culture thinks of: 

          Money, fame, power, health, influence, and security.


1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV)

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" --but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.


Spirit Revealed:


1 Corinthians 13:12 (MSG)

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!


Rev 21:3-5 (MSG)

I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate."


1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (MSG)

The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they'll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.


1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (NIV)

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.


Supreme happiness is found in being with God.  Being with God is where those who accept their need for a savior, who believe that Jesus made it possible to enter into a right relationship, who commit themselves to fealty, who have invited God into their lives are promised to be.  (1 Peter 1:3-5)


2 Timothy 2:10-12

For this reason, I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. It is a trustworthy statement:

For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;

If we endure, we will also reign with Him;



If you want to be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next, activate the Serenity Prayer, live it out daily. 


Reasonable happiness is the ability to take life and do the best you can with it. 


Supreme happiness is the promise of eternal fellowship with God.




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