Peace In: Part II – What’s Makes You Happy?

Sunday Sermon Series

Welcome!

We introduced our first Sunday Sermon Series here: Peace In: Introduction

We started our study of biblical peace here: Peace In: Part I

And we’re continuing that study right here!

Peace In: Part II

Last week we looked at many misconceptions concerning peace – peace is not a feeling or a divine stamp of approval – and we ended our time together learning that biblical peace is a state of mind. It’s a “soul rest” that pervades our every situation. It protects us from fear, doubt, anger, and depression.

So the next logical question is . . . how does one achieve peace?

We’ll spend the bulk of our time in this series in the book of Philippians, so let’s start with an overview of Philippians 4:4-9.

Verses 4-6 are a list followed by a promise of peace in verse 7.

Then verse 8 gives us another long list followed by a verse 9 repeat of the promise from verse 7.

The promise? Peace.

The list?

1. Our Responsibility to God

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Merriam-Webster defines “rejoice” as “to feel joy or great delight.”

It defines “joy” as “a source or cause of great happiness: something or someone that gives joy to someone.”

A simple rewording of this verse could be:

Find your eternal source of happiness in God; and let me repeat, find your joy in God.”

Repeated Reminders

I love when God – in His divine wisdom – finds it necessary to remind us of something right after He told us the first time. Why does He do this?

I know why He does this with me – because I’m stupid. I’m like a dog that returns to my own disgusting vomit-like way of self-worship. This is why He tells us twice in the same verse; we fail at rejoicing in God repeatedly throughout the day. Have you ever read something in the Scriptures that brings such joy to your soul only to walk away minutes later and have your joy disappear in light of an unplanned conflict?

This is why we need the reminder.

Grand Generalities

Not only does God tell us the same thing twice, He also uses divine generalities: Always. Generalities are generally bad because there always seems to be exceptions. But in God’s economy, when He says “always” and “never,” He means it.

We’re to find our sole source of joy and happiness in nothing other than God. And we’re to do it all of the time. John Goetsch said,

Joy is the flag that is flown from the castle of the heart when the the King is in residence there.” Click To Tweet

If you live for yourself, joy cannot take up residence there. The life of a selfish person is constantly being attacked by the individuals and circumstances around him that don’t really care about his goals. But a heart dedicated to Christ knows that things don’t have to go our way in order to have joy and contentment.

Sole Satisfaction

Verses like this and “pray without ceasing” frequently lead people to think that unless one lives merely monastic, you cannot be spiritual. But John Piper rightly made the observation:

For the gospel-liberated mind, all joy in created things is seamless with joy in God.” Click To Tweet

The source of sole satisfaction is knowing, believing, and everminding what God says.

    1. When I take a hike, I remember that everything I see is the direct work of His hands, and I rejoice that my God is so powerful.
    2. When I receive my paycheck, I know that God is the one who provides all good things, and I thank Him for that goodness.
    3. When I play with my family, I reflect on the fact that God has gifted me with these blessings to be loved and discipled.
    4. When I find myself in the midst of a back-breaking struggle, I evermind that God has promised to work out the situation to my greatest good and His greatest glory if I respond as Christ would. And guess what! I find peace in His sovereignty.

You see, we needn’t spend every waking-minute reading the Bible, we just need do three things:

    1. Learn what God says by reading and studying His Word.
    2. Remember what God says when we’re not reading it.
    3. Apply what God says to our current situation.

P.S. These are the three goals of Evermind Ministries – teaching us what we don’t know about God, reminding us of what we’ve already learned about Him, and applying His truth to life.

Conclusions Concerning Joy

In order to have God as our sole source of joy we need to:

  1. Realize that nothing in this life (friends, finances, family, fun) should be our source of joy because none of them can actually deliver.
  2. Evermind the true source of joy, God and His Word. In order to do this, we need to:

A. Learn what He says by reading and studying God’s truth.

B. Believe what He says to be true.

C. Remember what He says so you can apply it to your life.

When we do this, peace is the obvious outcome. How can we not be at peace we’re constantly joyful in the one Person Who lovingly controls all things for our greatest good?

Ever-rejoicing in God is challenging, but it’s the necessary starting point to achieve lasting peace. We cannot hope to have the peace of God if He Himself is not our all in all. Click To Tweet

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Continue to “Peace In: Part III.”

Advertisements

One thought on “Peace In: Part II – What’s Makes You Happy?

  1. Pingback: Peace In: Part III | Taking Back the Bible

What're your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s