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Happiness: Where to Find It | Renewing Our Minds

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2022 3:00 am

Happiness: Where to Find It | Renewing Our Minds

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 24, 2022 3:00 am

One of the classic kids’ books is called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. How’s that for a title? Does the Lord ever have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? Wouldn’t think so. Can we say the same thing? How can we begin to let God’s thoughts permeate ours? That’s one of the things we’ll discuss today here on A NEW BEGINNING as Pastor Greg presents the first message in a series called Happiness, based on Paul’s words in Philippians.

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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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Eli, listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign-up and hardness.Alert Visiting Rd., Christian is as though the way the believer things the Bible says Christians are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds today on a new beginning for a glory.

We need to let God start should be empowered to fill your God changes your not talking about positive possibility thinking I'm talking about having them on Alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day is the Lord ever have a terrible horrible no good very bad day think so we say the same thing.

How can we begin to let God start hours is one of the things will discuss today represents the first message in a new series called happiness based on false words.

My messages copy this where to find it. Philippians chapter 1, the only place to find real, lasting happiness is in a relationship with God.

The people that know God are the happiest people. When you have faith you have hope because you know life is not just this man on this earth. You know there's an afterlife, and if you put your faith in Christ you have the hope of heaven. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ.

You will by nature be a forgiving person is he. 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 hope 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 come from who you know 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 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 Romany 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. And yet here he is rejoicing, but he was immobilized general Paul was to get the job done sort of guy and for him to be chained up in and not able to get out and move about was very hard for him. Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation your immobilized maybe are unable to move physically, perhaps in some other way, you're in a marriage that's tough sledding at the moment, a job he would love to get out of school you would like to transfer from the neighborhood you would like to move from, or a sermon you don't want to hear anymore of the here's a Paul is saying, despite your circumstances, even if your immobilized, you can have great happiness and that's what he says over and over again.

In fact of all the things that Paul wrote this is probably the most brilliant, happy, joyful book of all in the let's try to figure out why he was so happy in this epistle at least 19 times in these four chapters, Paul mentions joy rejoicing or gladness might write these notations down when he first thought of the plebeian believers brought a smile to his face, and of Philippians 1, 3 to 4. He says I thank my God upon every remembrance of you always in prayer making request for you all with joy. So Paul was other make request for y'all with joy. So when he would think about the believers.

There would bring a smile to his face when he encouraged them to work together is Christians he got joyful thinking about it in Philippians 2 he says that there's any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit or affection and mercy fulfill my joy and be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. So Paul said Bennett.

That makes me happy. We can work together.

That brings me joy. You know, I'm thrilled of the crusade when I see people come forward but I'm equally as thrilled when I see all y'all out there helping to get the job done and I looked down and I recognize the saucer and I know this counselor and this person working in security and this other person, helping tear down equipment or build the stage and I look at all these folks and I think they're all here serving the Lord and in serving the Lord together.

That is a wonderful thing.

Listen to this.

Even when he thought of this potential debt. There was still this happiness and joy because Paul writes in Philippians 121 for me to live is Christ and to die is gain by living the flash. This will mean more fruit for my labor and what all choose I can't tell, but I'm hard-pressed between the two having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better nevertheless remain in the flesh is needful for you being confident of this out remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith. But here's the bottom line of Paul's happiness. It's found in Philippians 44 when he says rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. That's the key it's rejoicing in the Lord is not rejoicing in your condition or rejoicing in your circumstances are rejoicing in your current emotional state are rejoicing.

Then something else it's rejoice in the Lord. No, having established this a couple of questions come to mind. Number one. How could Paul be so positive, so happy, so jubilant and such adverse circumstances, and number two is this something I can experience today and if so how, let me answer the second question first. Yes, you can experience this joy, but you must meet the criteria that is laid out in this book, the secret to happiness is found in another word that is often repeated in the book of Philippians and it is the word mind M IND mind. Paul uses the word mind 10 times he uses the word think five times at the times he uses the word remember that 16 references to the mind. In other words, the secret of Christian happiness is found in the way a believer thinks notice I did not say the secret of Christian happiness is found in the way a believer feels know the way you think you learn to think right you learn to think biblically you fill your mind with the truth of God, it changes your outlook.

I'm not talking about your positive thinking or possibility thinking I'm talking about having a mind that is filled with God's truth. I'm talking about having the mind Christ.

Paul writes let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. So it comes down to the way that you think and Paul filled his mind with God's truth and he shows us how to live happily and in harmony with other people and you know were a very divided people in America right now. You probably noticed that I don't other we've ever been more divided or if we have been. I don't know that it was much worse than it is today. This is just incredible how many divisions there are and job Paul's telling us how to come together, those barriers can be overcome in Jesus Christ as we love and pray and serve the Lord together in the book of Philippians shows us how. But first we must learn how to think biblically because, listen, you're always going to find someone or something to blame for your sour and bitter outlook on life.

Will the reason I'm the way that I am is because this person did this to me. That person did that this boss did that that pastor did that this other person said that you know there has to come a point, we realize you just have to stop blaming people comes down to this. The troubles between man and man for man and woman is really the trouble within man himself.

The person that was in conflict with themselves generally is in conflict with everyone else so I just need to get right with God. I need to forgive those that of wrong me and I need to start thinking biblically and then I will discover true and lasting happiness. So it starts with getting right with the Lord master Greg has a good encouragement for all of us who believe in the Lord but are you my call believers under construction that's coming up in a moment. We really enjoy hearing when pastor Greg's teaching and preaching touches lives master Greg, I came across your YouTube channel this past Friday I spent most of the weekend listening to your messages. I'm now listening to your podcast and I can't tell you how great it is to have found you. I love your messages and they are helping me daily with my understanding of Christ in the Bible. I would say been a Christian for most my life, but I found it hard to let go of the world and my selfish desires 51 years of age. I'm finally understanding what it means to have a relationship with Christ. I'm married. I have two children who just graduated from high school and I also desire for my wife and kids to dial into your messages because they needed to thank you so much for all your doing. It's a blessing to know that listeners are hearing these messages and God is using his word to touch individuals and families. However, pastor Greg's studies impacted your life would you let him go drop an email to that's will today. Pastor Greg is presenting a message called happiness where to find it. Based on Paul's words in the New Testament book of Philippians. Let's continue grab your Bible or your phone or your tablet device or the person sitting in front of you has Philippians 1 tattooed on their head.

Philippians 1 M reverses one to sit Paul and Timothy, bond servants of Jesus Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus Oren Phillippi with the bishops and deacons. Grace to you and peace from God our father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I think my God upon every remembrance of you always in every prayer of mine, making request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now being confident of this very thing, that he was begun a good work and you will completed the day of Jesus Christ.

There, let's start with verse one to this saints in Christ Jesus, who are in Philippi. Very easy when we read epistles disorders skip over the opening statements as though they have no relevance to us, but we don't want to do that because really Paul gives us the door to the life of happiness. You must be one of the saints.

So if you want to be happy.

BSA Holly three out. I know Mother Teresa you know I am a emissary. I know that were all sinners but you have to understand what the word saint means it's an interchangeable word.

The word believer. How many of you are believers in Jesus Christ surgery and it. I therefore St. all of you see that I didn't even need to do that you already say to pure a believer.

Your essay if you're a saint you're a believer in fact we read when the Lord told Ananias to go pray for the newly converted Saul of Tarsus, later to become the apostle Paul. Ananias responded Lord. I've heard how much harm this man did to your saints in Jerusalem member Paul would chase down Christians and arrest them and sometimes even murder them. He presided over the death of the first martyr of the church. Stephen but the references to this saints. So if you're in Christ Jesus you are a saint, but notice it's a saint in Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus. Believers are not saints because they're perfect.

Believers are saints because they're in Christ, and Jesus imputes his righteousness to them. As a result, listen to me. I am a righteous man water lucrative senior drive.listen I know righteous because of what I do I'm right just because of what he is done for me and he's put his righteousness into my spiritual bank account, so to speak. That's called being justified positionally right just up living it out. That's another story that for the word sanctification comes in your that were sanctification is living out justification. Those are sort of words and we made out understand, but justified is being made right with God and a right standing with God. But sanctification is living that outdated day in a practical way, but I am righteous and I am a saint. You don't have to call me St. Gregory if you don't want to put my call. You say something, why am I a saint because I'm in Christ. A Buddhist is not speak of himself as being in Buddha nor does a Muslim speak of himself as being in Mohammed nor does a Mormon speak of himself as being in Joseph Smith. They may try to follow the teachings of these people, but are not in the but a Christian is a saint because he's in Christ in Christ. The Bible says if any man be in Christ, he is an altogether different kind of person old things are passed away.

Everything becomes fresh and new. So I bring this up this reason, the book of Philippians to the point. The rest of the New Testament has nothing to say to the world does not believe in Jesus Christ. Here is what God says to the world.

Repent and believe in Jesus. That's our message to the world come to Jesus.

So when people so I found the Bible is just the greatest self-help book ever written, and it tells you how to have a better marriage and how to have a happier life know that that's actually not accurate because the Bible is not given to nonbelievers to take the principles and try to live by them know the Bible is given to God's people.

It's come to show us.

We need God. The point of entry is your admission of your sending your need for God and then result in you putting your faith in Christ. In second Timothy 316 tells us with the Bible for its here to teach us what is true. To make us realize what's wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. So this is will it is written to to St. so you must be a saint or another way reported. You must be a believer so who in particular this fall offering these principles of happiness to his offering to those who have believed in Jesus. Now I want to the notice of wonderful promise that is given to the St. verse six he who has begun a good work and you will completed under the day of Jesus Christ. God always finishes what he begins. Greg does not always finish what he begins.

Greg starts projects and doesn't always finish project may be your the same way. But God always completes what he has started with manual of unfinished books unfinished songs unfinished buildings and why. Well, maybe it's lack of resources or power more often than not, it's just the lack of desire. You lose interest in it. You have marriage is falling apart. Well, I just lost interest in it. You have something else falling apart. Why just didn't care anymore. God always finishes what he starts. Because God has unlimited resources. He has unlimited power. Listen to this. He has unlimited interest in you see he loves you and he sees that the finish work. He sees the finished painting. He sees the finish sculpture. He sees the finish shoe. He sees the ultimate you go you will become one day you just see the flaws you just see their shortcomings overlooking one of those magnifying mirrors. All I hate those there just horrible because they exposure flaws and they magnify your flaws right but God sees your flaws. He knows everything about you. He knows your flaws better than you know your flaws. Trust me, but he also sees your potential, and he sees this plan and he sees the endgame that he has for each of you. He's going to bring what he started in your life to completion. Hebrews 12 says we are to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith drive good news you're going to make it to make it to the end. The good news because Libby is a all this world.

Such a horrible place in the double so powerful, just fall away while really you want to follow I will know you wanted.

Continuing as a follower of Jesus, will yes within you will because as we read it is God that works in us both to will and do of his good pleasure. God wants to do it if you want to do it then we have a game plan know if you're sabotaging what God is doing. If you're resisting what God is doing.

If you're fighting with God. Even then, he will give up on you. Even then he will patiently bring you along with a few determined to rebel against his plan will yeah get you can ended but that's not God's fault, that's your fault. But listen. The bottom line is you're going to make it if you want to make it appear willing to desiring to go forward as a Christian, then you will. It is God that works in today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie warning out how God will continue his work in us until it's completed, there's even more good news coming as pastor Greg continues his series from Philippians, called simply happiness depends greatly ask you what we do in those times when the bottom just absolutely falls out of our lives and we wonder if maybe God wasn't paying attention he was paying attention.

How would he let that happen. Help us think through those moments of crisis right let's pull the camera back and get the big picture our life as a beginning, a middle and an end. God created us to walk with him and the notion God is also preparing us for heaven because heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you. So God's endgame if you will, is to make you more like Jesus, you know, we are "Romans 828 in times of crisis, but we forget there's a verse that follows the Romans 828 says, for we know that all things work together for good to those that love God and other called according to his purpose. But then verse 29 says, for whom he called, he also did foreknow to be conformed into the image of his own dear son. So sometimes when we isolate Romans 828 we come to the conclusion of O will. This is a bad thing.

God will make it into a good thing. That's not what the promise says it says so because all things to work together for good. But what is the ultimate good. The removal of our problem know the ultimate good is to be more like Jesus.

So God is either done what is happening in your life or he has allowed it for his purposes, so that is the moment we must learn to trust him. And speaking of trusting him. Here's a family who is trusted God through great difficulty not only losing many family members in the short period of time, but losing the real matriarch of their family, their mother and the wife of Tony Evans. I'm talking about Lois Evans. I'm talking about the Evans family. Tony is the dad and we have crystal Priscilla Anthony and Jonathan, all of them walking with the Lord. That's a real tribute to not only Tony but especially to Lois and the title of this book is divine disruption which really unique about this book. Dave is the whole family chimed in and participated and contributed to it and this is a book that brings hope and encouragement and subtitled holding on debates when life breaks your heart. Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now who was a broken heart and makes no sense what is happened to you, and you're wondering as Dave mentioned earlier, is God paying attention. The answer is yes, yes, because as I've often said the word hoops is not in God's vocabulary God's at work in your life. But let me share this book with you, which will offer you a biblical perspective and honest words of encouragement. I say honest because the Evans family as candid as he discussed what it's like to lose someone as important as their mother and Tony speaking of losing his wife, but really who we really lose someone we know where they are.

They all know that she's in heaven they know they'll see her again and that is the hope of the Christian.

Let me send you this book divine disruption for your gift of any size and whatever you send will be used to help us continue to bring the gospel to people that need to hear it and to bring words of Pope those who are feeling hopeless in this right is such an important resource for those who were facing these kinds of emotional challenges right now at this book for yourself or give it to someone you know who could use this biblical encouragement again is called divine disruption and will send a copy or way to say thank you for your donation to help us continue these daily studies here on a new beginning were completely listener supported and we so much appreciate those who partner with us and we hope you'll contact us soon will only be able to mention this. A short time longer. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.Hor Pastor Greg has more insight for us on where we can find real, lasting, happy kind of happiness. Only the Lord can provide. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and thanks for the beginning Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest

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