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February 23, 2022 3:00 am
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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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We're glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content. When you subscribe to pastor Craig daily depots. Learn more and sign firstname.lastname@example.org pursuing pleasure will never bring versatile is said the best cure for heathenism is a practice today on the pursuit of pleasure is unfulfilling. Happiness never comes. The only place the following real lasting copy this is a relationship. The people that know God is going to go find our happiness is a destination in your GPS.
No wonder so many people have a hard time finding a new beginning for Greg Laurie points out, happiness is a byproduct after they will see how happiness can lessen the byproduct of a genuine relationship with God series called have you ever someone who said I really don't want to be happy. No happiness may be good for some people but it's not really good for me know. You will find many people like most people, deep down inside want to be happy.
My goodness, it's even in our Declaration of Independence that we want to be happy in the United States of America and to the point. Even those who say they don't want to be happy but rather they want to be unhappy by this certain happiness in the run happiness. A case in point ever seen a Woody Allen movie.
I've sort of like celebrating misery and making it funny to well because deep down inside, we all want to be happy. It's been said, quote there are two things that are true of every person we all want to be happy were all going to die. By the way, you may be surprised to know that God wired you.
That way, and this goes back for centuries. Augustine in A.D. 397, said quote everyone, whatever his condition desires to be happy." Nearly 13 centuries later French philosopher and mathematician blaze press call wrote all men seek happiness. This is without exception. I read in the newspaper a while back, the lead singer of one of the most well-known rock bands in the world and he was quoted to say this US me if I'm happy. Listen, I bought myself a Rolls-Royce, a part of the biggest parent of the world and I'm about to move into a luxurious mansion in my happy with that. No, I'm not.
I want more. See some things never really change when comedian Dave Chapelle was making millions of dollars he found he was not happy that he was quoted to say the higher up I go, the less happy I am so is happiness a lost cause. Marilyn Manson said, quote anyone who thinks or copy should really go see a doctor because there's no reason to be happy." Milton Berle, the comedian said, quote a man doesn't know what true happiness is until he gets married, then it's too late, so only I would quote Marilyn Manson, Dave Chapelle and number all in the same sermon right okay but I'm just trying to show you the spectrum of opinions on the topic, George Burns, another comedian from years gone by said happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close knit family in another city. Okay, so there was always a punchline with those guys listen despite what all these people tell us according to the Bible, you can be happy. According to the Bible, you should be happy and you just need to look for in the right place and the problem is far too many people look in the wrong place and then they conclude that they don't find it there.
That happiness cannot be found. Before I tell you what happiness is and where to find it, let me tell you where you will not find happiness. Number one being beautiful or handsome will not bring personal happiness. Let me say that again being beautiful or handsome will not bring you personal happiness. I know this from experience that was in the Joe that kinda hurt a little bit. Honestly, I mean to be laughed at in the face no I meant as a joke, you know, because I think people think you know if I was as beautiful as the girls I see in the magazines on the surprise as handsome as the movie stars, etc. be happy and back. 94% of girls age 18 and under which they were more beautiful figure cripple how many of you girls which were more beautiful. Just be truthful you wish you were more beautiful region so having said that, how many of you think you're already beautiful razor him. I don't disagree them just interested but most people always will say well you know I'm okay, but will look at her, riper look at him 85% of women over 40 say they're not as attractive as the average woman and that's why last year, Americans spent $11.4 billion on cosmetic surgeon fees and that was Newport Beach alone, so I would look like the model in the magazine new/the model doesn't even look like the model in the magazine. Haven't you ever heard of Photoshop little airbrushing the 2014 annual Academy of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery survey blame the rise of the Sophie they said were taking so many photos of our self more than ever before.
We as Photoshop, Instagram, folders and other enhancements to look our best and they say, plastic surgery is the next logical step. You're always going to find someone more beautiful than you beauty and handsomeness. Physical attractiveness will not make you happy. Number two. Personal possessions will not bring personal happiness they can improve your life make a lot more comfortable but they will not bring the real happiness you're searching for. There was an article in Time magazine that had the title of the real truth about money and it said quote clinical depression is 3 to 10 times as common today than two generations ago.
Money jingles in our wallets and purses as never before.
But we are no happier for it. In fact, for many more money leads to more depression maybe that's why proverb 2720 says Hell and destruction are never full and so is the heart of man, never satisfied having relationships will not make you happy.
No, look, you're wired for relationship you're wired to have someone that you will love and and Mary one day.
That's not a bad thing. But if you say marriage is going to make you happy you're going to be in for a big shot. Maybe even before the honeymoon is over and you know because were asking a person to do something a person simply cannot do when we, as a person can meet all the needs of another person because people let us down. Parents let down children children letdown parents, husbands, letdown wives, wives, letdown husbands Always looked on their owners. Dogs do better number for pursuing pleasure will never bring personal happy pursuing pleasure.
I didn't say you can't have happiness and pleasure. There are many fine pleasures in life that are good.
You know a nice meal the beautiful sunset time with people you love. Those are good pleasures. But then there are perverse pleasures of pleasures that are sinful in the Bible even says there can be a little fun in the pleasure for a time but then comes the repercussions of its and you know you think will abide just, you know, try this drug, or if I drink a little bit more, or I had this experience know none of those things in and of himself will make you happy because after the Russian excitement where off. The deadness kicks in at some of the Bible says in first Timothy 56 she that lives for pleasure is dead while she's living you want to be a real zombie not like you see on TV but a walking dead person be a person that lives for pleasure will never make you happy affect living for pleasure is one of the most un-pleasurable things you can do. It's been said, the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it so all right.
Happiness doesn't come from those things that were doesn't come from, where do you find personal happy simple answer. The only place to find real, lasting happiness is in a relationship with God. How many passages in the Bible have to do happiness, gladness, joy and laughter here to hazard a guess Pastor Greg will have the answer just a moment. We love when we hear from our listeners like this woman who tweeted a comment to us. I really enjoy your daily devotion whenever himself with work life and staff your emails.
The one thing that connects me back to the Lord, even if it's only five minutes most precious five minutes 19 thank you were grateful to hear how pastor breaks daily devotionals or touching lives. If you like to send a note to us email pastor Greg email@example.com do today. Would you again that's firstname.lastname@example.org today. Pastor Greg is helping us find where real happiness comes from, as he launches a study of the book of Philippians and for an instant replay of today's message go to harvest.org. The people that know God are the happiest people.
One of the world's foremost experts on the topic of happiness made this statement I don't have a religious or spiritual bone in my body yet. I have to admit that the studies show that people with faith in God are happier. Why is that what when you have faith you have hope because you know life is not just this ban on this earth. You know there's an afterlife, and if you put your faith in Christ, the hope of heaven. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ. You will by nature be a forgiving person is sitting. It's been said, the first to apologize is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest the first to forget his happiest," and that's true when you forgive, and you forget that will bring you happiness all because we have all because we forgive because we have faith. It gives us a happier state. And here's something that might surprise you. God wants you to be happy. Remember when the Angels announce the birth of Jesus.
They said we bring you news of great joy, but it can be translated good news of great happiness and also we read in Luke 1020 Jesus said be happy that your names are written in heaven. So he is telling us to be a happy person. Now that doesn't mean if you're a Christian, you want to upset and said this is not always a bad thing. You know, sadness has its place, especially when you're morning someone you love that maybe is gone or or something else. It's okay. It's a process that we have what we we cry out to God and deal with these things, but even in the midst of sorrow, even in the midst of morning you can still have this deep seated happiness it doesn't come from what you have or don't have.
It comes from who you know. By the way, there are 2700 passages in the Bible containing words like joy, happiness, pleasure, laughter, gladness, feasting in celebration when you say that again wrap your mind around this. There are 2700 passages in the Bible containing words such as joy, happiness, pleasure, laughter, gladness, feasting in celebration. So you see someone that you know they never smile and and they're never happy as a menu need to read your Bible more does God want you to be a happy person and know this. Even God himself is happy if you ever thought about that you know when you look at the false gods of this world are never happy, ever look at the Tiki gods in Hawaii, you know people like to collect them. The actual gods and always mad.
They have a big frown on their face. Usually their tongue is sticking out Buddha.
He's not really happy. He looks the most part to be asleep. I've seen a couple with a slight little smile on his face, but the you know the these other gods are not happy, but we serve the happy God. John 15 Jesus said I told you this to make you completely happy as I am Jesus was having a great way he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that's true. The Bible says that but he said I want to be happy like I happy you think Jesus always went around crying and with a frown on his face. I think when that verse is telling us he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. It's describing the time when he was carrying the cross to Calvary and bearing the sins of the world but I think Jesus was a happy Savior, a smiling Savior. Do you think children would've wanted to be around Jesus if he wasn't approachable. I think it was that warmth that he had that true the men so we serve.
I happy God and he wants us to be happy as well.
In fact, Paul writes the glorious news entrusted to me by the blessed God or a better translation would be the good news from the happy God.
I like that don't you die happy. God is one of the main themes running through the book of Philippians. Yet the fact of the matter is circumstantially the apostle Paul, the author of this book had not been to be happy about. He had nothing outwardly to rejoice about.
He didn't like this from some ivory tower he was writing this from a prison cell in Rome and you know what Paul knew a lot about personal hardship and discomfort. He suffered more than most people ever will. In second Corinthians 1124.
Here's what he says I've worked harder. I've been put in jail more often.
I've been with times without number. I face death again and again five different times and choose gave me 39 lashes three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned and left for dead, I might add three times I was shipwrecked once they spent a whole night and day adrift at sea. I traveled many weary miles.
I faced danger from flooded rivers and waters I faced danger for my own people, the Jews, as well as the Gentiles. I faced danger in the cities in the desert and on the stormy seas. I faced danger from those who claim to be Christians but are not.
I've lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I've been hungry and thirsty. I've gone without food.
Often I've shivered with coal without enough clothing to keep me warm. Beside all of this I have the daily burden of all the churches are getting along well. So you think you are problems.
I was talking about a cold. It seems pretty silly compared to what the apostle Paul went through. He wrote this book from Rome though we think of Rome today. You know, we think of a city of ruins.
Amazing pizza and pasta scooters everywhere.
The Trevi fountain you'll things like that.
Maybe a romantic spot weld the room of Paul's day was a much different place. It was effectively the capital of the world the Roman empire had bludgeoned the planet into submission and I living in Rome at this time was a very dangerous thing because Caesar Nero was in power. He was probably the worst of the Caesars.
He instituted daily contests in the arena between the gladiators there in the great Coliseum. A good part of which is still standing in Rome today and he became progressively more bloodthirsty and decadent contemporary of general Roman philosopher known as Seneca Road with dismay, saying, I felt as if I was living in a sewer." Nero is believed to be the one who set Rome on fire and then he blamed it on the Christian we know historically that Caesar Nero took a perverse pleasure in torturing and murdering followers of Jesus Christ. Stories are told of how he would cover them in animal skins and let them be attacked by dogs he would crucify them he would even cover Christians in pitch and set them aflame to light his garden as you would write around in his chariot.
His mother was murdered by him.
He murdered his mother after his rise to power and her last words tell something of how wicked Nero had become as the Emperor, she said to the executioner.
The good thing about my death is the wound up born Nero is now dead. While this is one bad dude and he was in power, and this is where Paul was and yet he's brimming with joy and he's talking about happiness is chained to a Roman guard did not.
This case was coming up shortly, but Paul didn't know how it would turn out.
You might be acquitted.
He might be beheaded. He originally wanted to preach in Rome and he ends up here as a prisoner and if this isn't bad enough, many of the believers were against him. They were spreading lies about the great apostle so he was under the most miserable circumstances imaginable yet.
Rejoice Greg Laurie pointing out how encouraging it is that Paul found joy in the midst of unimaginable hardship and there's more to come from this message here on a new beginning a study called happiness where to find it and then were making available and encouraging book this month that offers encouragement for those who suffered loss. Let's talk to their friends and loved ones of someone who's just suffered a terrible loss. Okay, what are the right words to say to that person and water the wrong words okay well I would say let me start with some of the wrong words and then I'll talk about some of the right words wrong words are you over it yet.
I actually had someone asked me this two weeks after my son died. Are you over it yet listen when someone loses a loved one, especially a child though never be over, though get through it by God's grace, but they don't get over it. So don't ever ask them.
Are you over it and someone say to me. Well, God picks his best flowers first. What a ridiculous statement. First of all your loved one is not a flower, and that makes no sense at all that someone else might say, would you of other children. Well at least you have them.
But listen, no one can take the place of the child or the loved one you lots. Sometimes people tried to compare it to their being. Oh I know what it's like for instance if you lost a child the sake I lost my grandmother look, I'm sorry you lost your grandmother, but is not the same as losing a job because you don't plan for that. So don't say those things. So what should you say, short answer, less is more, you know, Job went to the worst suffering imaginable. Some friends showed up and for the first few days they said nothing. They just saw Job with his pain and misery, and they wept for him. That was fantastic and you know it's really when they started talking that the problems began. So choose your words carefully. As I said, less is more. You could say something like, I'm really sorry. I'm praying for you. I love you. Is there anything I can do for you know Greg, they need a sermon. You know, maybe they don't need a sermon. Maybe they just need a friend member when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane.
He took Peter, James and John with him and he said stay here with me, watch and pray for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
And then he went and began to literally sweat blood. According to Dr. Luke is the pressure of the impending crucifixion was coming and he returns to them and their asleep, and he said could you not stay awake with me.
Here's the point Jesus did need sermons. He needed friends. He just needed someone to be with them and when someone is lost a loved one, just being there. The ministry of presence if you will can really be a big deal when were speaking about loss and I coincides with her resource were making available to our listeners. Right now it's about by a family who suffered tremendous loss in the last couple of years.
The Evans family. Many of our listeners are familiar with Dr. Tony Evans and their family suffer the loss of eight different family members in the last few years.
The book is called divine disruption and I know you highly recommended I do and not only do I recommend it.
I want to put a copy of this book in your hands a because this is a book that's going to be encouraging to you it subtitled holding on to faith and life breaks your heart. My talking to somebody right now that is a broken heart.
Maybe you're having a hard time holding onto your faith then you need a copy of this book divine disruption that I will send you for your gift of any size. Some of you may only be able to send a little bit. Whatever you send will be invested in expanding this radio ministry. So please, whatever you can do. It's greatly appreciated and is our way of saying thanks will send your own copy of this brand-new book by Tony Evans and his children titled divine disruption tried all four of Dr. Evans kids contributed their encouragement Priscilla Scheier Crystal Evans hurst, Jonathan Evans and Anthony Evans its rich encouragement from five different points of view. We hope you send a generous investment today and ask for the book divine disruption and will only be mentioning this. A short time longer, so get in touch right away. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300 and we can take your call anytime 24 seven that's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org everybody Greg Laurie here.
You know my uncle Fred Jordan at one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home. I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents only have church in the home for you every weekend. It's called Harvest at Home. You can find it, harvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home harvest.well next time more insight from the kickoff message and pastor Greg new series in Philippians called happiness.
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