TRIUMPHANT JOY #3: LOVE, GROW AND LIVE(Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan) To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE. To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
The Pursuit of Happiness: Why Americans are wired to be happy, and what that’s doing to us.
“Our happiness… (is) an almost adolescent restlessness, an itch to do the Next Big Thing.”
“It’s not as if we don’t have the financial means to keep ourselves stimulated.” We spend:
- $118 billion on travel abroad in 2012
- close to $25 billion per year to attend sporting events
- nearly $11 billion on movie tickets
- an annual $140 billion on recreational equipment and $200 billion on electronics:
HOWEVER: “The gap between our optimistic expectations and the reality that a significant portion of the population is, of late, cranky and dissatisfied may be what has spawned the vast happiness industry. We tap that industry in a lot of ways, with:
- Pills (25% of women & 5% of men say they are taking antidepressants)
- Food (48% of women and 44% of men eat to improve their mood)
- Self-improvement products and services (books and motivational speakers)
According to the World Happiness Report, published by the Earth Institute of Columbia:
- Top 4: Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands (Canada = #5; US = #11).
One of the most interesting stats from the Time Magazine article:
- Nearly half of regular worshippers say they’re very happy, compared with 26% of those who seldom or never attend religious services. (Christians are happier!)
QUOTE: “The longing to be happy is a universal human experience, and it is good, not sinful… the deepest and most enduring happiness is found only in God.” (John Piper, Desiring God).
BACKGROUND TO PHILIPPIANS:
- Author & Date: The Apostle Paul in 61 AD
- Theme: Joy in Christ
- Occasion: Paul wrote Philippians during his first Roman imprisonment.
- Review: We have learned that we are saints and servants, and rejoice in suffering.
THE BIG IDEA: In Philippians, Paul shares with us three characteristics of joyful Christians: loving relationships, a growing faith, and living a worthy life.
PAUL’S PRAYER: THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF JOYFUL CHRISTIANS:
“9 I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation — those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ — for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” (Phil. 1:9-11, NLT).
- When we have loving relationships, a growing faith, and a worthy life, God is glorified.
- JOY IN LOVING RELATIONSHIPS.
Paul’s Prayer: “I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more…” (v.9a).
- The essence of Christian discipleship – love, acceptance & forgiveness!
“Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.” (Phil. 2:2).
- In Philippians over and over we see a connection between joy and loving relationships.
“1 Dear brothers and sisters, I love you and long to see you, for you are my joy and the reward for my work. So please stay true to the Lord, my dear friends. 2 And now I want to plead with those two women, Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. 3 And I ask you, my true teammate, to help these women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. And they worked with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.” (Phil. 4:1-3).
- Love, peace and joy are all fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
- Sometimes people have disagreements in the church, and need help from others.
- JOY IN A GROWING FAITH.
Paul’s Prayer: “that…you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding…” (v.9b).
“And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.” (Phil. 1:25-26, NKJV).
- As our faith grows and we get closer to Jesus, we experience more joy in our lives.
- “These things I have spoken to you (God’s Word), that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11, NKJV).
- Do you want more joy in your life? Get more of God’s Word in your heart and life!
- Memorize Scriptures from Philippians: 1:6; 2:5; 3:10 & 4:13.
- JOY IN LIVING A WORTHY LIVE.
Paul’s Prayer: “that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns” (v.10).
“27 But whatever happens to me, you must live in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ, as citizens of heaven. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing side by side, fighting together for the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.” (Phil. 1:27-29, NLT).
- Walking a pure and worthy life brings joy.
- Stand in unity. “In one spirit, with one mind, striving together.”
- Trust in Jesus. This is one of our great privileges! He is a good, faithful God.
- Suffer for Jesus. Although this isn’t fun, it is part of the Christian life!
DAVID’S PSALM ABOUT JOY IN FORGIVENESS:
“1 A psalm of David. Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone… Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD. So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!” (Psalm 32:1-5,10-11, NLT).
- Joy doesn’t come from being perfect, but from being forgiven. When you sin, confess it!
“We are in this fight together. You have seen me suffer for him in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of this great struggle.” (Phil. 1:30, NLT).
- Suffering is inevitable. If you’re living on Earth, you will suffer sooner or later.
- Even though there is suffering in this life, we can still have joy.
- Joy comes from loving relationships, growing in faith, and living a worthy life.
- Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).
- Joy comes from JESUS!
- Rejoice: It’s a choice! You can choose joy.