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Pastor Shane Ham : The Habits Of Happiness

Choose · 43:03 · Recorded November 27, 2022

The Habits of Happiness

Philippians 1:12-30 (NIV)  12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Happiness is not a goal. Happiness is the byproduct of right thinking and right acting.

*Evaluate by finishing this sentence: *

For me to live is __________________________.

Four habits we learn from Paul:

1. I can be happy no matter what happens if I look at every problem from God’s viewpoint.

My problem may be a witness to unbelievers.

My problem may be an encouragement to believers.

2. I can be happy no matter what happens if I don’t let others control my attitude.

If I know God is for me, I’m as happy as I choose to be.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV)  “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

3. I can be happy no matter what happens if I trust God to work things out.

I can worship or I can worry.

I can pray or I can panic.

It’s my choice to rejoice.

4. I can be happy no matter what happens if I stay focused on my purpose not my problems.

Talk It Over
  • Paul’s joy while in prison flows from his awareness of Jesus’ presence, his confidence that he is in Christ’s hands, his pleasure over the advancement of the Gospel, and his single-minded desire to know Jesus. Are you able to sit with your problems with the same joy? Does your joy flow from the same place? What principles from this message will you put into practice to make that a reality for you?
  • How does Paul determine if an event (like being imprisoned) is good or bad? How would this example encourage others?
  • Of the four habits we learn from Paul, which is easiest for you to apply? Most difficult? Why?
  • Look back at the first fill in following the scripture. Do you agree with it? How have you gotten this wrong and focused on happiness as a goal rather than a life state? Are there changes you need to make now to reset in this area?
  • What difference has your personal faith in Jesus made in your attitude toward death and dying? In your attitude toward suffering?
  • Parents:  Pick one of the four habits we learned from today and review it with your children throughout the week. Talk about his situation and how he chose joy in Christ. Identify difficult things you or your kids experience and talk about making the choice to rejoice through them. Pray together for God to continually renew your joy and to help you walk through tough things with his help.
  • Be Glad

  • I Believe

  • As I Wait

  • Firm Foundation (He Won't)

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