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As Happy As You Think You Are, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
February 2, 2021 7:00 am

As Happy As You Think You Are, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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February 2, 2021 7:00 am

How can I be happy and what does scripture say about happiness.

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Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.

Literally it means in Greek, it says fair speaking. It would mean this, are the thoughts that I'm having fit for God's hearing? Would you take your thoughts right now and articulate them to God?

You see, if you wouldn't, then maybe you need to work on your thinking just a little bit. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt. Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now as once again he shows us how God's Word meets our world. For my thoughts are not your thoughts. He says, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours and my thoughts than your thoughts. Well, that tells me something about my thinking. It isn't even remotely close to God's. He said, I can't even compare it. You think instinctively in a very different way than I think.

Your ways are very different than mine. Then he says this, for as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there without watering the earth and making it barren sprout and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater. What a great analogy. He's going to give you a guarantee. He says, you know what rain does to a plowed field?

Waters the seed and creates the crop. He said, that's what it does. He said, that's how sure I am about what I'm going to say. And then he says this, so so shall he says my word. He said, so shall my word be which goes forth from my mouth. You shall not return to me empty without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Wow. You see what he's saying.

See, what is it I put on that other hard drive? That's what I've devoted my life to study in the word. You see, the whole idea of it, God says, I've got to fill up the hard drive. I know one thing as a Christian, I am not intuitively going to think the right way and I am not intuitively going to behave the right way. God says, you have to let me fill up your thoughts. He said, but I'll tell you what, I guarantee that if you let my thoughts become your thoughts.

You see, you are as happy as you think you are. What an amazing statement. Now I want to take that one step further and go the New Testament, the Philippians chapter four. And the context is joy and happiness. Philippians chapter four. Verse four.

It's still one of my favorites simply because of the grammar. Rejoice in the Lord always again. I say rejoice. What I love about that, it's imperative mood. It's a commandment.

Just like the 10. Wow. You ever think about that? God says, I got a commandment for you. Rejoice. Be happy.

Can you command someone? God can. See, his whole view for us is, look, you have been redeemed to be happy. You see, I have saved you and put my spirit in you so that you can be happy and joyful.

You see, that's what I've done. I'll be happy. He says, notice the enemy in verse six. Be anxious for nothing. There's the enemy of happiness, worry and anxiety. By the way, where does worry and anxiety occur?

Kind of between your ears, doesn't it? You see how that works? He says, be anxious for nothing. But in everything with prayer and supplication and with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

The key to that is the thanksgiving. Even before God answers, I thank him because he's God. He's not only great, but he's good. He says, and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So my mind can be guarded by God. He says, yeah, and now, by the way, let's do an exercise to see if it's working for you. He says, finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there's any excellent and anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. He says, you need to be thinking because you're going to be because we're all addicted to it. He said, but I'm going to tell you the kind of things you should be thinking about. The first thing is whatever is true. I don't know if you realize this, but once in a while on the media, they say things, I hate to say this, that aren't true.

You see, you can't let your mind dwell on those kinds of things. Just yesterday, as you know, they had a big snowstorm in Washington and New York, and the media was all over that. As though Washington and New York are the only people that have ever faced snow ever in the world.

And so I can remember a couple of the reports that they gave. You know, one of the reports was a guy was standing around Central Park in New York, and there was no wind blowing at that time. There's just beautiful, gentle snow falling down. And he said, and I noticed something odd about it. He said, you cannot go out in this kind of snow without your safety glasses.

What? We were in all kinds of snows when I grew up in Pennsylvania. I never heard my mother say, where's your safety glasses? It's snowing.

And then a local reporter who grew up here was on the national news, and she was giving her spin on it. And she wanted to warn everybody in New York that if you go outside, the air is cold, and cold air will hurt your lungs. There wouldn't be any Eskimos then. They'd all be dead.

Cold air will hurt you. See, not everything, not everything is true. He said, you think about things that are true.

I can listen to things that are false, but immediately I have to say that's false. I want to dwell on what's true. Whatever is honorable, it means worthy of respect.

Think about that. Whatever is right as compared to wrong. Whatever is pure, that's the root word for the word holy, hagios.

Whatever is pure, think about it that way. Then he says, whatever is lovely. That's a great word.

It means winsome or beautiful. He says, think about things that are beautiful. Think about that. I mean, that's puppies and sunsets. Think about that.

Why? Those are blessings. You start thinking that way, it changes the way you think. Then he says, think of things that have good repute.

That literally it means in Greek, it says fair speaking. It means this, are the thoughts that I'm having fit for God's hearing? Would you take your thoughts right now and articulate them to God?

You see, if you wouldn't, then maybe you need to work on your thinking just a little bit. The last two, by the way, are simply a summary. Anything worthy of praise, anything of excellence. He said, the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, you practice these things. You are the peace of God. In other words, you'll be happy, you'll be joyful.

Wow. I'm left with this question. You're as happy as you think you are. What is your mental diet? What do you feed your mind every day? What's your mental diet?

I thought about this and I thought about all the kinds of things that I really should be thinking about, even what God has said. So I come up with my own. I'm just going to read the passage. You don't have to look for it. You could write it down if you want to look for it for yourself.

The first one is this. Think great thoughts about God. Think great thoughts about God. Romans 11. Oh, the depths and the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and His paths beyond tracing out. Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay Him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. Do you think thoughts like that? Secondly, think about great thoughts about you.

How about this one? Zephaniah 3.17. The Lord your God is with you. He's mighty to save. He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.

Do you ever think that? Do you realize how astounding that verse is? I mean I understand though. He's mighty to save. I mean we sing that.

Mighty to save. I get that. Most of you do too I'm sure. Then it says He will take great delight in you. Now I know I'm going to take delight in God. I know He's going to take great delight in you.

Do you have that picture of God in your mind about you? God's saying I take great, great delight in you. And then He says He will quiet you with His love. That phrase to me is a spiritual hug. Like I am upset about something. Something's really frightening to me or something. And He says come here.

Let me hug you. He will quiet you with my love. And then to me the most astounding thing. You have never heard someone religious tell you this truth. He will rejoice over you with singing. You never hear people talk about that. You know why?

They don't know the word. He will rejoice over you with singing. We sing every Sunday.

Imagine that God sings about you. Can you see? Bill, Bill, I love Bill. You see why? Because he takes such a delight.

He loves me so much and he has such a delight in me. He sings. As most of you know, especially if you sit in this section, I can't sing at all.

That doesn't stop me from trying in any sense. And it's always been that way. But when I was dating my wife, I used to sing to her. I know the song.

I'm Still in Love with You by Little Anthony and the Imperials. Yeah. It was more apologetic. Dry your eyes. There's no need to cry. Don't you know that I am still in love with you? I didn't mean to hurt you, baby, or desert you. I only have eyes for you because I'm still in love with you. Why did I do that? I loved her.

I delighted in her. You see, that's why. You see, that's why God sings about me and about you.

Get your thoughts around that. You see, if that doesn't give you some sense of identity and purpose, we worry about what other people got. And God delights in me so much, He sings about me. Great thoughts about yourself.

Think about great thoughts about others. 1 Samuel 16, the Lord does not look at things the way a man looks at it. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. You see, how do you look at people?

By their outward appearance, the way other people see people, or do you look at people the way God sees people? By the way, if you do, you realize there's only two kinds of people on the entire planet. There are saved people and lost people, and that's all there is.

You see, do you see people like that? Great thoughts about life. Luke 9, if anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit his own very life? You see, life isn't about acquiring. It's not about accumulating.

It's not about impressing, and it's not about exploiting. It's simply about discovering God's agenda. You see, that's a positive, wonderful thought about life. Great thoughts about the future. Jeremiah 29, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Put your name in there. You see, put your name in there and think about that, God speaking. I know the plans I have for you, Bill, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, Bill, and not to harm you, Bill, plans to give you, Bill, a hope and a future.

That's God talking to you. Is that what you think about? Or if you allow the world to squeeze you into its mold when you're thinking about all of the other stuff and distractions? Because if you are, I can tell you something, you're not happy.

You are as happy as you think you are. Great thoughts about the past. I love what Paul says about this. I said it in the first sermon. Don't let past failures steal your happiness today.

Just don't do that. I love what Paul writes to Philippians in chapter 3. Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press, he says, on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. You see, you couldn't say to Paul, you know what you did last week, you know what you did last month, you know what you did last year, you know what you did.

Paul said, I forgot that. Isn't that one of the great things about being a believer? It starts new every morning.

This morning was the first day of the rest of your life. The slate's clean as far as God is concerned. Lamentations free. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.

They're new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. You see, that's an amazing thing when you think about it. Great thoughts about the trials and the challenges of your life, James 1. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be mature and complete and lack of nothing. God wastes nothing on you. Even the most difficult trials that I face, he says, are going to mature you, conform you more to the image of my son.

And those are just passages. Think of all the positive, wonderful things you can think of about God, what God has done for me, what he has given me. He's given me a foundation to stand on that I understand is not movable, unshakable.

I built my house on the rock. God says, no matter what comes, you're going to stand. He's given me a vision for my life. It's complete and comprehensive, a life of joy and peace and hope, meaning, purpose. He's given me that. He's given me an inheritance that's absolutely certain that's unimaginable for me and its implications. I'm a joiner with Christ. He has forgiven me completely and forever of every sin I've ever committed or will.

You have to think about that. He has given me free and open access to his presence. Hebrews 4, come boldly into the holy of holies, come boldly to the throne of God. You see, what a wonderful thing I have access to God. He has given me his son, who is my savior and my Lord. He has promised that he'll never leave me nor forsake me, no matter what other people do.

What a thought that is. He is full of grace and mercy and patience for every day of my life and all the disappointing things I think and do. He has given me peace for the moment and a hope for my future. As Jesus said in John 15, he's given me joy. It's his joy.

It may be most important a thought I want to think about all the time. He loves me. You see, it's so much easier to say, for God so loved the world, like we're in a big group.

That's true. But he loves me. And he loves you, just the way you are. We say it all the time here, there's nothing in the world you could do to make him love you more and nothing you could do to make him love you less. That's how he loves you.

He loves me. Now, when you start putting all this together, I hope you start thinking in a positive way. Because if you think in that positive way of what is true, it changes your emotions. It changes your attitude, which changes your life.

And you're as happy as you think you are. Chuck Swindoll said this, concerning how it affects your attitude. He said, the longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes. Than what people say or think or do.

It is more important than appearance or giftedness or skill. It will make or break any company, any church or any home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude which we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play the one string instrument that we have. And that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes. We make a choice every day. He says, and I choose to be happy.

You see, when it is all said and done, you are as happy as you think you are. Let's pray. Father, if there are believers here who find themselves consistently day in and day out not happy, not joyful, not peaceful, not hopeful, I pray, Father, that they would understand that the problem is their thinking. It's not the resources within them that can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens them. The Spirit of God is indwelling them.

The Word of God is wanting to guide them and inform them, and the people of God are there to encourage them. Father, our thinking can become our worst enemy or our very best friend. Father, I pray for those who aren't happy that they examine their thought life and they see there's a jive with the truth of Scripture. For some of us, Father, it may be that we don't know enough about you. We are so casual in our effect of trying to understand your Word that there's very little that we know.

In fact, even some of the things we surfaced this morning might be a surprise to some. Father, I pray that we understand as believers in Jesus Christ we have this tremendous capacity to be happy. If there's one thing, Father, we can really dwell on, just one thing as an individual person, it's just how much you love us. It's an overwhelming thought that you love me. It's a thought worth thinking about. It's a thought that will build up what we call our self-esteem. It's a thought that will replace our anxiety and our worry and our fears with peace and hope and joy and happiness.

Convict us, Father, if need be, in Christ's name. Amen. That's OnePlace.com, and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online. At that website, you will find not only today's broadcast, but also many of our previous audio programs as well. At Fellowship in the Word, we are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website, fbcnola.org.

That's fbcnola.org. At that website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the message you are looking for, you can listen online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all of this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is fbcnola.org. For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-29 03:33:39 / 2023-12-29 03:42:55 / 9

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