I. Thomas Jefferson penned these great words: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are create equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as part of our Declaration of Independence in 1776 and we American haven’t stopped since!
II.Happiness… is a word related to the term “happenstances”, which means what have a feeling of exhilaration associated with a favorable event. You are happy because something good or great has happened to you in that moment of time.
III.This has become the normal way of life for people
a.Living from moment to moment seeking out happiness instead of finding true Joy which last through all things.
IV. Biblical Joy produces a deep confidence in the future that is based on trust in God’s purpose and power.
a. It results in the absence of any ultimate fear, since the relationship on is based eternal & unshakeable.
b. It isn’t a human emotion like happiness that fades when the experience is over.
c. Most people confuse Happiness for Joy.
V. VS. 1 - The directive:
a. Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord… Rejoice comes from the root word for Joy… so Paul could have said be joyful in the Lord.
b.He wants to tell us this because he wants to protect us from pursing the wrong things in life.
VI. VS. 2&3 - The Warning:
a. Paul warns of people who say that you have to do other things in life to find the Joy that only comes from Christ Jesus, through His Salvation which is in Faith in Him alone!
b. He is stressing the fact that our joy comes from Spirit of God.
c. It is based on what Christ has done for us not what we can do on our own…
VII. VS. 4-6 - The Pursuit of Happiness
a. VS 4 – Paul is saying that if anyone could find happiness or Happenstance it was him because that he achieved in life.
b. VS. 5– Paul goes through his human resume’.
i. Circumcised on the 8th day. He started off in the beginning as being someone of importance!
ii. Tribe of Benjamin – one of the most prominent tribes of Israel. He was of the right family!
iii. He was Pharisee… He pursued his Jewish heritage to the extreme… “Brethern, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisee.” Acts 23:6
iv. See he reached a status that was very great.
c. He was very passionate about what he was doing. He said he was with out fault.
VIII. You might not be trying to climb the corp. ladder… However, the issue is what you do to purse happiness…
IX. In most cases the things that we purse usually are temporal. They will fade. None of them really bring Joy…
X. VS. 7-11 – Living the life of Joy!
a. VS. 7 – Paul Change was so drastic.
b. Paul says that when he evaluates the life before hand that it did not compared to the life he has in Christ.
c. It was all worthless. Christ made a difference in his life.
d. VS. 8 – Says that knowing Christ has an infinite value.