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The Biblical Worldview on Finding Contentment: Controlling Our Mindset

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2021 3:00 am

The Biblical Worldview on Finding Contentment: Controlling Our Mindset

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 28, 2021 3:00 am

It would seem that it’s easy to be content when things are going well . . . and it’s easy to be discontented when life has brought us to our knees. But is our contentment always tied to our circumstances? Pastor Greg Laurie would remind us that some of Paul’s most encouraging words were written from a dank, dark prison cell. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg helps us see how to have a spirit of contentment no matter what life throws our way. It’s part of his series called Worldview.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, you want to hear from you. Would you consider emailing me you can reach me at greg@harvest.org again that's Greg harvest.org and you can also make me one of your friends on Facebook and drop me a comment you cannot control what comes your way. Five. Try what I can control my reaction to I can control the way I thing the Bible tells us the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. Pastor Greg Laurie says we have the mind of God through pulses. I found it I found the secret to contentment that I want to share it with you the secret of contentment. The stone the way a believer in tenant when things are going well is easy to be discontented when life is brought us to our knees, but is our contentment always type your circumstances. Pastor Greg Laurie would remind us that some of Paul's most encouraging words written from a dank, dark prison cell today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg up to see how to have a spirit of contentment matter what life throws our way is part of a series called so let me begin with a question. How many of you would describe yourself as the happy and content person would raise your hand your happy you feel you happy and content that everybody there's always that thought that well I will be a provincial when this happens all be kicked up, but not quite yet. You know when you're single you're thinking. If only I was married I know I would be good that I'm so tired of being single. I'm so tired of being in the restaurant and having them the same party of one. You know II did I want to get married and then you get married and you understand the truth of that statement.

Marriage is a three ring circus engagement ring wedding ring and suffering. So you say well we need kids. We had children. I know I'd be content that then you have children and their still living with you in their 50s and there thinking how can I get rid of these children.

I know I maybe I just need a new wife or husband.

I need to trade my men on the new model and so you get remarried and then you say all men my old spouses better than my new spouse. I was a good go back and marry them again and then you go on a little bit of like when you say all retirement.

It's all about retirement. I know what I'm retired all the content and then your retired and living in man I miss work. I need something to do.

I wish I could go have my old job back. You see it's always beyond your reach. It's the only river that separates you in your mind from the good life if only this. If only that much of a story read about a wealthy employer once or one of his employees say to another $5000.

I'd be perfectly content. So this man stopped surgeon wants excuse me you know I have a lot of money and I've never found contentment for my money but I want to meet up perfectly contented person.

So here you go, pulls out his checkbook writes it out thousand dollars signed it. This is your and as he walks away. He overheard that employee say why didn't I ask for 2002. That's the way we are not human nature.

But know this, getting more stop will not bring happiness or contentment is one psychologist to get a lot of study on what brings contentment and her conclusion was quote if people shoot for a certain level of affluence, thinking it will make them happy. They find that upon reaching it to become very quickly.

Habituated and at that point they start hankering for the next level of income, property, or could help so you know you make thousands well. If only I were a millionaire, then your millionaire if only I were a billionaire I read someone say the other day very wealthy person, the billionaire won't be long till we meet a trillion there so you know it's always beyond your reach your never quite there on euro well here's a man who writes this epistle, Philippians, the apostle Paul tells us he is found this secret to contentment. Everybody likes to hear a secret if ever been in a restaurant. Maybe your tables close the one next to you and and you know really ease dropping what you hear a word or two there and then one of the people says to the other. I wanted tell you a secret suddenly you lean in, you don't know these people from Adam South Amend you want to hear the secret. Then they reveal the secret about someone you've never heard of and you don't care about, but secret.

We love to know the secret. Paul says I found it I found the secret to contentment that I want to share it with you. It's interesting as Paul was in adverse circumstances when he wrote he wasn't kicking back on some beach in the Mediterranean eaten a falafel he was under house arrest. He was a prisoner of Rome.

He was facing an uncertain future. He did not know if you would be acquitted or beheaded. Yet in this epistle, but he writes of the church of Philippi that we call Philippians. He talks a lot about joy rejoicing happiness and contentment and we ask how is that possible, the answer is found in a word that Paul uses over and over in this epistle, and it's the word mine uses the word mine 10 times. He also uses the word think five times.

Add to that the time he uses the word. Remember, you have 16 references to the mind which brings us to this simple point. The secret of contentment is found in the way a believer think it's not found in the way a believer feels because our emotions fluctuate something you know sometimes everything's going well.

Your help is good the bills are paid. Everything's going the way you hoped it would go. When you find yourself in depression and your say why am I down in the dumps right now there's no logic to it so we don't base it on the way that we feel we based contentment on the way that we think.

Which brings us toward text Philippians chapter 4 our reading verses 10 to 13. All rights and he says I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that know about your care for me is forest again, though, you surely didn't care what you like opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to knee, for I've learned in whatever state I'm in to be content underlined uppers of learned whatever state it meant to be content. I know how to be a base in auto about everywhere and in all things I've learned about the be full and to be hungry, both to abound in the supper knee verse 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me so important within know if I had a nicer car if I've had a bigger house if I had a hell of a larger salary or if I had a new phase or a new body or if I had with that person is eating everywhere. Notice that when you go to a restaurant you want with the other person has or is it just me know and I got an order was of the group of people the other day and so would you order and the only hassle what you are who I like it that I can hope. What are you wearing so that I order whatever thing I order, and then the food arrives and then their food looks so much better than my thinking.

Some of the women looking at it. I'm just staring. Would you like a bite of my food. Why is it that stolen food always tastes better. You know, maybe around in a restaurant and you're trying to lose weight so you order a kale salad with tofu and dirt and rocks or whatever your reading in your brain orders and pig fat juicy cheeseburger with all the fixings and the kids. You sir are a glutton not getting sir are a mentor for my own heart. That's who you are so so you want to get out. They were the big burger and you're just looking at using cook could I get I have maybe one year from reason and they give you a Friday and it's like the most amazing Friday of every preventive you notice in you. If you order fries are not as good stolen food is better. By the way, let me just say this, tell you a story, something that just happened to me I when I was over in Hawaii and but I wanted tell you girl something three-point for you girls to know this guys don't like to share their food to just another guys on my right so grossly sick know Greg you're wrong. My husband shares his food. I didn't say he won't share it.

I said he doesn't like we tolerate but we don't like it. We know like you little forks, the way my wife is a you have a bite of witchery. The Elsie in a little forks comes in the first the cuts, whatever. I'm eating a piece of chicken, fish for their work and then she did sit here and goes over here and grabs a little and it takes like here's I'm just sitting there like I can't get to my food this little invading fork is moving around and then I'll be like saving that burger I've got the last bite I love the last bite of the burger and good radio.

My wife is can I have a bite just like the remember love your wife as Christ loves the church. Sure she saw anyone to fund established the principle guys don't like to share food, think of a dog eating food out of it that's a man having a meal you going witchery hand of the dog and might get bitten. O.

I'm in a restaurant in Hawaii over there with our church service to Milani on with the D and with Steve and their friends and so we all order and so Steve ordered a sandwich. They've ordered some mouse so were talking and all of a sudden Dave says to Steve, can I have a bite of your sandwich different than me and I know guy asked me for about a my sandwich. I would say okay and send it down to get up my fork to my knife that I'd cut him up a piece Ray had not eaten the sandwich and I would put it on the plane and give them here you go, so he says. Dave says as he can. I've abided your sandwich and without pausing. Ceases sure and takes his sandwich and Dave takes a sandwich out of Steve's hand out and anything somebody where Stephen been eating. I was horrified.

I start there really is a way to stop everything you do is traumatizing to what they like, you know, I said they were going to use in the sermon because go for just like I did here and job but the point is there something desirable about something someone else has more than what you have and that's why we need to learn the fine real contentment. What we do if we can change or circumstance. How do we find contentment when life is challenging. Will Pastor Greg answers that just a moment. Pastor Greg Laurie talks about his new book, Billy Graham of the man I knew.

Billy said to me I'm just a country preacher. He was just a country preacher but God elevated him and offense thousands of young people, and when he spoke those kids listen, you could've heard a pin drop that God has forgiven you. That's why Christ died on the cross and that's why he rose again so you might just that he will even instant salvation. I certainly do now is your right as instant every link would go on to be the greatest evangelist in history so I write about them a lot more in this book I've written called Billy Graham the man I knew, get to know the country preacher Sean millions come to Christ, Pastor Greg introduce you to Billy Graham, the man I knew a brand-new biography available for your gift of any size and harvest.or will today. Pastor Greg is helping us find real contentment. Contentment that transcends what this world has to offer. You know, as I said Paul was in difficult circumstances when he wrote this. These are not theories from an ivory tower. This is from the school of hard knocks Pollitt experienced pleasure and health and also sickness and weakness.

He had Heisey at Lowe's. He was a hero to some he was a bill in the two other. But he learned this contentment does not just come because we've conquered our circumstances but rather because we've learned to live with them.

Let me say that again contentment does not come because we've conquered or changed our circumstances, rather because we will learn to live with them about a story of a man was very proud of his perfectly groomed front lawn. It was flawless, but then a heavy crop of dandelions appeared, seemingly out of nowhere he tried everything he could to get rid of them and had no success so we actually shot up in the milled of the school of agriculture, telling them of all the things that he had tried to get rid of the dandelions and he said what do I do now here was their response.

We suggest you learn to love dandelions that's out works. Florida want you to take this away. I want to the change of Lord says I suggest you learn to love them this unruly husband, Lord.

I've tried everything.

Learn to love him. This is why I will do what I wanted to do this wife. It takes my food constantly from my point will learn to love these kids that were great until they get the teen years and I know it's happening all yes love because life is going to give you those things you cannot control so that brings me to point number one of your taking note contentment comes when we rejoice in the Lord Paul Duncan to me because he rejoice in the Lord. Verse four Philippians 4.

He says rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. And by the way that the command is appointed out in our last message are commanded to rejoice. It doesn't say, rejoice in circumstances because sometimes it's hard but rejoice in the Lord. Studies have actually linked gratitude with a variety of positive effects in one's life is been determined that grateful people demonstrate less envy, materialism and self-centeredness. Gratitude enhances relationships, longevity of life and even your quality of sleep if it came in the pill form. Gratitude would be a miracle cure. Just learning to be thankful for what you already have instead of what you think will make you happy. So Paul writes in verse 11. I've done whatever state I'm in to be content. Now think about your own life right now can you learn to love what you have instead of what you don't have a Paul again is under house arrest these in a jail cell.

Instead of having his freedom. Yes four walls around the sediment mission field yet. He's content which brings us to this point what you have in Christ is far greater than anything you don't have a life. Let me say that again what you have in Christ is far greater then anything that you don't have a life you have Jesus therefore you have everything you need for now and he turned and got some in Jesus as you. That makes all the difference in the world. Let's not misunderstand this. Paul's not saying that we should necessarily be satisfied with their present spiritual condition me ask you question how many of you are happy with where you are at spiritually right now raising region. I dimmed my hands on. I'm not happy with where I met, would you not happy in your relationship with God. Very happy, but what I'm saying is I have a long ways to go. I have a lot to learn. I need to know the Bible much better than I know it I need to be more Christlike than I am right now. I've already shared how selfish I am with food not there so much growth I need in my life and I don't see that as a bad thing.

I see that is a good thing.

A true mark of growing spiritually is knowing you need to keep growing spiritually that that indicates that you really aren't a state of growth. Paul writes in Philippians 3 friends. I'm not all that I should be. I'm focusing all my energies on this one thing forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strained to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Christ has called me no we should not be satisfied with where were at. In that sense. But having said that we should find contentment in our relationship with God.

But that's not our nature. Notice pulses I've learned and whatever state I'm in to be content some things have to be taught children are not naturally mannerly, there naturally selfish and inconsiderate you up to teach a child matters when I see a naughty child. I attributed to a delinquent parent not doing their job right teaching the child you don't do that sort of thing. You don't say that sort of thing to someone that is not acceptable.

So in the same way contentment needs to be learned. It's not natural because I'm not naturally content to get job put them in a room, give him a toy.

The relatively happy bringing another child with another toy. Friction begins right now they're fighting over one toy that they have determined is the best toy they're pulling on both sides of it. It could even be a little bunny don't: a part of you don't stop them. They want with the other person has that human nature and we don't necessarily outgrow them up. Also, since I I've learned this. I've learned this secret that I want to share with you this secret of contentment. Point number two Paul found contentment because he took life as it came. Paul found contentment because he took life as it came like a verse 12. I know how to be a base in Ohio about everywhere and in all things I've learned about the be full and to be hungry, both to abound in the supper.

Need is another translation just listen to this. Actually I don't have a sense of needing anything personally, I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances, I'm happy with little is much as I'm happy with much but with much, as I am with little, I found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry and full.

Her hands empty. You cannot control what comes your way in life.

I've tried it doesn't work but I can control my reaction to it. I can control the way I think I can control my attitude.

That's what you learn this you learn how to be content. Which brings me to point number three.

Contentment does not come from what I have that comes from who I know contentment does not come from what I have that come from who I know Hebrews 13 5 Says Let Your Way of life be without covetousness. The word covenant means a greedy desire to have more no matter what it costs you were someone else.

It's from a word that can be translated to pant to pant like a animal pursuing its prey. Let your light for you without covetousness.

But then he goes on to say, but be content with such things as you have, for he is said I will never leave you or forsake you see, because Christ will never leave me. I can be content a song about what I have. It's about who has me it's about this relationship. I have with God that can bring the ultimate contentment. That is why David wrote in Psalm 23 the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not know when the Lord your shepherd. You can find this perfect contentment. Contentment is found in making the most of the liens. So Paul and found this contentment in his relationship with Pastor Greg Laurie is showing us the Bible's prescription for finding contentment. No matter what's going on in our lives.

And there's more to come as pastor Greg continues this study.

It's called the biblical worldview on finding contentment. Hopefully you got every word of today's presentation. But if you didn't, you can hear what you missed by going online to our website harvest.org just look for that message the biblical worldview on finding contentment with pastor Greg, I just read your book, Billy Graham, the man I knew it's brand-new. One of the stories you tell them there.

I thought maybe you could recounted for listeners describe the time you got a phone call late one night from Dennis agate Janie in his imitation of Billy Graham right well.

Dennis and I have been friends for years. Dennis is a musician.

Amazing guitar player and a friend of Franklin Graham and work with the Billy Graham team for years as well, so I was back in North Carolina at a Billy Graham board meeting and so we had dinner that night and I said to Billy Billy. If there's anything I can do for you.

Preparing sermons or whatever.

Let me know what you need and I'll work on it. Billy said okay.

Thank you that I went back to my room that night and I got called to late like 10 o'clock. I so that was Dennis. He would always call and see how to go tonight, I was Billy Don and so he called and he did an amazing Billy Graham, imitation and so Dennis calls these as hello Rick this is Billy Graham and and I was thinking about what you said to me tonight. I know it's not Billy so I'm like actually watching TV and I'm flipping the channels you know like you do. I'm flipping the channels is that right right and I think it whatever he was saying. I'm saying yeah whatever ability you know, just because I know it's Dennis waiting for him to say Greg, it's Dennis and he goes on and then Dennis says, and I was thinking about what you said tonight and I'd like your help and then I thought for a moment. Wait I didn't tell Dennis I said that the Billy, then at Dominique this is Billy Graham and I'm blowing him off right already so choosy Billy yes how can I help you, and I realize that II was like ignoring Billy Graham which is kind of crazy thing.

But that's exactly what I was doing. You know another, a funny thing that happened you know Franklin is quite the prankster, so I had a photo of Billy that I had printed out and I got one of those cool like silver metallic pens because I wanted them to sign it toy to get back when I was going to see him and Billy very graciously signed it and I rolled it up into one of those tubes you know and I had it in my hotel room and as it turns out the maid picked up the tube, thinking it was trash and threw it in the dumpster. I just about had a heart attack. I went and found the dumpster clawed my way through it sounded put it back in my room. So then, Franklin says, come on up to daddy's room and as I got there and there is Billy and Franklin and then Franklin says daddy, you know that picture you signed it yourself, and gave the Greg and Billy says yes.

Franklin says Greg thrown away and I said no I didn't throw it away. Let me do it away. No daddy he threw it away. Billy Skinner smiling and I thought to myself they're in this together there working together right now, I realize I just to get. I said look I didn't throw it away. One of sounded, and I explained it and we all had a laugh but you know he was some you just a great guy to be around and he took his message very seriously. But he never took himself too seriously and it was always just a joy to be with them and there were so many memorable conversations and moments that are with me forever and I wanted to put them down of this book so other people could hear these stories because this humanizes him and what I mean by that is there's been many books written about Billy but sometimes there may be a little more academically oriented or they're giving you is complete history. I did not feel the need to write that book it's been written. This is a personal blog.

I'm talking about my interaction with them when I saw and I am an evangelist and Billy was the master evangelist so it's an evangelist writing about an evangelist.

There's a lot of insights here for everyone, but I think this to be a really helpful book for anyone who loves to preach.

If you're a pastor if you're an evangelist there's a lot of take away truth is I learn from Billy and I share in this book that will help you to be a better communicator of the gospel.

Yet such a great resource for so much about Billy Graham. Very few of us know.

Only those who knew him best and that's why the book is called Billy Graham the man I knew it's a unique look into one of our generation's true heroes of the faith. The book is brand-new and will send you a copy to say thank you for your investment in these daily studies we can only bring them your way has listeners invest to help cover the costs of broadcasting. So thanks for your partnership. It couldn't come at a more strategic time writers today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and time is running out. We can only mention this. A short while longer. So get in touch right away.

Everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home.

It's a Bible study. It's a worship service. It church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us per Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ.

Join us this weekend Harvest at Home.oh well, next time more great biblical insight on finding contentment in a frustrating world will tune in next time for a new beginning. Greg Laurie and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email devotions and harvest.org


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