Posts Tagged ‘joy’

Joe Casey: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


 

Ephesians 5:22d   This week Joe Casey continues his series on the fruit of the Spirit. This time he lands on “patience.” Why were we created in the first place?  What is our purpose in life?  We were created to bear good fruit and glorify God.

Notes:

Longsuffering (Patence)                                       galatians5_22-23

1. Negative Example

2. Positive Example

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

Fruit of the Spirit – Patience – Joe Casey

 

 

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1john1_9

Spiritual Depression: #3 “That One Sin,” a sermon by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

 


 

Are you an unhappy Christian?  We aren’t meant to be that way you know.  But, many are that’s for sure. Why is that?  Do you sometimes feel like David in Psalms 42:5.

 Psa 42:5a KJV Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “The moment we become Christians we become very special objects of the devil.”

This is true and it is one reason why we get down and depressed. The devil begins to work in our minds and tries to make us ineffective for the work of Christ.

Are you suffering greatly because of something in your past?  I mean before you even became a Christian?  There might be something that you did, and you keep going over it to try to figure the whole mess out.  Or, it might be something you said to someone that haunts you even to today.  Maybe you made a promise to God that if he answered a certain prayer of yours that you would do something in return, and you didn’t keep your promise.  The devil likes this.  He has us right where he wants us.

When our countenance is gloomy, and we look like we just sucked on a dill pickle we are not a very good example of what a Christian is to unbelievers.  We need to be aware of that and be a good example for Christ’s sake.

You need to listen to this sermon as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains why this happens to us.  We need a right understanding of what happened at salvation.  He helps us understand why our past sins should not affect our moods today.  We can be joyful in the Lord!

For myself, yes, I do get down at times.  But, I don’t stay there.  I know what Christ has done for me by dying on the cross for my sins.  Those, by the way, are past, present, and future sins.  That is a mystery to me, but it is what the Bible says and I believe it.  I’ve noticed that past events of my life come into my mind and truthfully I do have many regrets.  But, I’ve learned not to dwell on them. When I find myself doing that I have to rush to God and ask Him to help me change my thoughts.  I have to focus on how wonderful He is and what great things He has done for me.  I have to praise Him!  For me it is good to start thinking about what I’m thankful for.  I begin with my salvation and then it goes on and on from there.  Soon I am no longer down at heart, but my spirit is lifted up to the heavens.

If you are a Christian but not really happy please listen to this sermon.  There is so much good teaching in it and it will help you understand why you are not happy.

 

 

 

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Happiness is an emotion based on circumstances.  If things are going well, then we are happy, but if some trial comes up we become unhappy.  You see God did not promise that everything would be hunky-dory once we became a Christian.  We still will have trials in our lives.  There will still be illnesses, job loss, accidents, death, disappointment, relationship issues and more.  So, as Christians we cannot expect to be happy all the time.  Just as non-believers life throws us curves.

I’ve been a Christian for about 37 years.  Have I been happy all that time? No!  I’ve had my ups and downs like everyone else.  We are all human and live in this cursed world.  Sin is all around us and it effects each of us.

What makes a person happy?  I believe it is different for each of us.  What makes me happy might not make you happy.  One thing that makes me happy is fishing. I just love to sit on the dock, or out in a boat, and wait for that big one to strike my bait.  What anticipation and what happiness when it happens and I actually land it.  There are many other things that make me happy.  Some as simple as a smile on a child’s face.  Or, when the birds are at my feeder.  To hear the bird songs in the spring time puts a smile on my face, and, oh yes, to listen to the peepers.  I know that spring is near, and that makes me happy!

I remember before I was a Christian my happiness came from going out and partying, or getting a raise at work, or being able to purchase a new car.  Things like that made me happy for a time.  But, it would wear off and I’d be on the search for another thing to make me happy.

When a person says they are a Christian and they are unhappy I wonder what it is that they are searching for.  Maybe they expect more than God has promised.  He has told us that in this world we will have tribulation.

(John 16:33 YLT)  these things I have spoken to you, that in me ye may have peace, in the world ye shall have tribulation, but take courage–I have overcome the world.’


What can make a person unhappy? There are all kinds of things here are a few:

  • CHURCH

Yes, I said church!  I remember going to church and every time coming away with a feeling of disappointment and unhappiness over the time I spent there.  If our church is not giving out the Word of God in a sytematic way, then we are deprived of the food we need to feed our soul.  We need feeding and we crave it as Christians.  Also, we crave fellowship and friendship with other like-minded individuals.  My church wasn’t feeding us the food we needed.  We had tons of music and a very short canned sermon sprinkled with more stories and jokes than Bible.  I would go home and feel empty.  I had to get out of that modern church and find a good Bible teaching church.   I did that and it was like the difference between night and day.

  • YOUR MARRIAGE

You may be in a marriage that isn’t going so well.  You may be a Christian, but your spouse isn’t.  That can make for all kinds of unhappy times.  In that case you are not equally yoked and think from two different views.  This causes many conflicts.  I didn’t have that problem, but I do know people who do.  One of my friends had that problem. They had conflicts about going to church.  Many times the unbelieving husband would not go.  It made it hard as the wife wanted her children in Sunday school and she wanted to worship the Lord at church.  Another problem they had was over giving money to the church. They had many arguments over this.  God tells us to do that but the husband would not hear of it.

(2 Corinthians 6:14 ASV) Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?

  • NOT MARRIED BUT LIVING TOGETHER

I also know of people who are not married but are living together.  They can’t find true happiness because they are living in sin.  God instituted marriage between a man and a woman and that is the only one he will bless.  If a couple are just living together and are not married they can expect God to disclipine them.

(1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV) Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

(Matthew 5:27 ASV) Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

  • UNFORGIVENESS/ VICTIM OF ABUSE

Maybe you are a Christian, but have unforgiveness in your heart.  If so, you really need to study what the Bible says about forgiveness and apply it to your life.  It will make a world of difference. Unforgiveness holds us hostage.  It actually hurts us much more than the other person.  As Christians we must forgive as God has forgiven us.

Mark 11:25-26 KJV And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  (26)  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

There were people in my life that I had to forgive once I became a Christian and realized this.    Sometimes the person we need to forgive has already passed away.  When that happens we can pray to the Lord and tell Him the whole thing.  We can pour our heart out to Him and He will listen.  Then we can tell the Lord that we forgive that person for what they did to us.  It is a very freeing thing to do.

I know people who hold grudges.  That is sure to bring them unhappiness.  They are always bringing up past hurts and rehearsing them again and again.  When they do that it is like reliving the past.  They must forgive even if it is for their own peace of mind.  We can forgive others and let the Lord take care of the rest.

Romans 12:19 KJV Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Do you see yourself as a victim?  Has life been hard and you’ve been abused in the past in some way?  If so, again you need to study about forgiveness.  You will have to learn to put the past behind you.

Philippians 3:13-14 ASV (13)  Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,  (14)  I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

  • SELFISHNESS

I believe that selfishness is the number one cause of martial and relationship problems today.Is there selfishness in your life? We can become very unhappy when we don’t get our own way.  What does the Bible say about this? We are to think of others as more important than ourselves.

Philippians 2:3 KJV Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

One time shortly after I was saved I could not understand why people behaved the way they did.  I prayed and asked God why and it was as though He placed this one word in my mind: SELFISH.
As time went on and I put this word to the test I found it to be true.  People are selfish, and that is the root of many, if not most problems.

Matthew 16:24 ASV  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

  • MATERIAL POSSESSIONS

What about possessions?  Do you think that having just one more thing will make you happy?  Do you have to have the latest fashion, electronics, furnishings?  Do you think a new car, or home would make you happy? If you won the lottery would that make you happy? What thing that you don’t have now, if you could get it, would make you happy?

Matthew 6:19-21 ASV Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal:  (20)  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (21)  for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.

Today I’m content most of the time.  I don’t need a lot when I realize how much God has given me.
He has adopted me into His family, given me a citizenship in Heaven, made me a saint, and has for me an inheritance that far outweighs anything here in this life.  Oh, I have so much to look forward to and that brings me great joy!

  • DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD

Perhaps you feel disappointed with God.  When you became a Christian you might have had the idea that everything would be great from there on out.  That view is sometimes given to a new convert, but it is not the truth.  God tells us that we will have troubles in this world.

Sometimes people don’t realize that God is sovereign.  This is very important!  He is sovereign over everything that happens to us.  Nothing can happen without his permission.  He is totally in control.  Just knowing that takes the pressure off us.  We can rest in the knowledge that He loves us and wants the very best for us.

Romans 8:28 ASV And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.

The Bible also teaches us to be content in whatever state we are in.  Paul is a wonderful example of that.  He went through all kinds of trial and tribulations.

Philippians 4:11 ASV  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.

Also, a fruit of the Spirit is joy.  For a Christian even when times are very hard we can still have the joy that God has given us inside.  This is a gift from God, and it helps us through tough times.

Maybe I’ve touched on why you are an unhappy Christian, and maybe not. Write into the comments section and share what makes you unhappy and we can search the scriptures to find the answer for you.  I would love to hear from you.  You can also email me privately if you wish.


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Mourning Dove

March2008 008

In my last post we looked at different kinds of fears.  We saw that they were the fear of man, the fear of death, and the fear of the future.  A lot of our fears fall under these groupings.  These are all sinful fears. 

Today I want to address some good kinds of fears.  Yes, there are good fears!  Our goals should not be to eliminate all fear but to distinguish between what are the good kinds and what are the sinful ones.  After all, God made us with the ability to fear. 

Natural Fear:

Proverbs 22:3 NASB The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

This shows that man sees the danger ahead and takes steps to avoid it.

The fear of falling off a cliff, for example, is a natural kind of fear.  It is healthy to prevent us from taking that next step when we come up to the edge of the cliff.  Also, the fear of a wild animal is a natural good kind of fear.  It helps our bodies rev up so that we can run and escape. 

However, when we have  a panic attack our bodies go into this kind of fear when there is no real danger. This is not healthy. There could be many reasons why this happens the first time.  I’ve talked about that in a previous message where we talked about the physical side of panic disorder.  The problem is that our bodies get sensitized when we continue to have panic attacks and it is easy for us to slip into this kind of fear at the drop of a hat.  The way out of having panic attacks is to make more time between the attacks, by not pushing ourselves, resting, and let our bodies readjust.

Isaiah 7:25 NASB As for all the hills which used to be cultivated with the hoe, you will not go there for fear of briars and thorns;

This is saying one would fear the briars and thorns as they will cut and scrape you and be painful.  That is natural fear.

Wayne Mack says in his book, The Fear Factor, “The problem is, our sinful nature takes this good, helpful emotion and twists, perverts and distorts it.  As a result, it’s no longer productive but paralyzing, no longer natural but sinful.”

Holy Fear:

Proverbs 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 14:27 NASB The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Psalms 31:19 NASB How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!

Again I would like to quote from Wayne Mack because this is so good.  Here he shows the differences.

“Holy fear and sinful fear are opposites.  Sinful fear destroys; holy fear enlivens.  Sinful fear is a terrible affliction; holy fear is a great benefit.  Sinful fear shortens our days; holy fear lengthens them.  Sinful fear is a source of misery; holy fear is a spring of joy.  Sinful fear leads men astray; holy fear puts men on the right path.  They only way to overcome sinful fear is to replace it with holy fear.”

There you go.  We are back to “put-offs,” and “put-ons.”  We have to put off the bad fear and put on the good kind of fear. 

You may ask, what is this holy fear you are talking about?  It is the fear of God.  There are many scriptures that talk about the fear of God.   

Results of Holy Fear:

1.  It produces a fear of sin.

Philippians 2:12 NASB So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means that it is a serious business.  We shouldn’t take it for granted.  We need to keep studying the Word and learn how we can obey what God says.  We should not take sin lightly.  We recognize it for what it is and repent and get right with God.

2.  It produces a fear of God’s Word.

Proverbs 16:6 NASB  And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.

The only way we can know God and know what he expects of us is to read and study the Bible.  As we do we will realize many things that God wants us to change or do in our lives.  We obey out of high respect and honor to God.  He first loved us, and now we love Him.  We should have a heart attitude of pleasing Him.  When we do this we will not fall into sin.

3. It produces knowledge and wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7  NASB “The fear of he Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” 

Proverbs 15:33  NASB “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom.

True wisdom and knowledge are found in the Word of God.  We learn what the Bible says and then wisdom gives us the ability to apply it to our lives.

Psalms 119:11 NASB Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

That is wisdom.

4.  It produces joy and contentment.

Proverbs 15:16 NASB  Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Isn’t that the truth?  I’d much rather have little of this world’s wealth then be rich and have all the problems that it entails.  People talk about winning the lottery and they’d be happy.  I don’t think so.

As you can see the Bible is where we need to turn to discover how to live our lives in a healthy and blessed way. 

The Fear Factor: What Satan Doesn’t Want You to Know by Wayne and Joshua Mack can be found here:

www.mackministeries.org

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