Summary: The church of Jesus Christ needs to be filled with therapists who dispense laughter and happiness to all they come in contact with.
Be Happy- part 1
Thesis: The church of Jesus Christ needs to be filled with therapists who dispense laughter and happiness to all they come in contact with.
Today is Palm Sunday and Scripture describes for us what happened that day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem Matthew 21:1-11:
Play the video of Matthew 21:1-11
There was Joy and laughter and excitement. People where happy and rejoicing!
The prophet and miracle worker Jesus of Nazareth had come to town. Yet what still amazes me is that less than a week later the “Be Happiness” was not there. The crowd was now chanting Crucify Him! What happened to their happiness, their joy, their excitement?
Was it because he drove out the money changers. Which affected some of their pocket books. Was it because he dealt with sin aggressively and authoritatively? Was it because he challenged the leadership of the Temple? Who in turn influenced the people to turn on their deliverer?
The once happy Israelites watched and observed their prophet be arrested and crucified and their attitude of joy turned to bitterness, to anger, to resentment, and to murder. Their voices of Praise and adoration turned into the voices yelling “Crucify Him!”
The disciples went from experiencing this incredible moment of joy to heartbreak, to fear, to panic, to denial and even depression. Their dreams were shattered and they sank into misery.
The once happy people turned into distraught, bewildered, troubled people.
What happened to their joy, their happiness, their zeal, and their festive nature? By the time we Get to Friday of this week we could look at the same crowd and see despair written on their faces.
“Just look around. Bad news, long faces, and heavy hearts are everywhere-even in houses of worship (especially in houses of worship!). Much of today’s popular music, which many consider a voice for the nation’s conscience, promotes, misery, sorrow, and despair. If sex and violence are not pulsating themes in new film, some expression of unhappiness is. Newspapers thrive on tragedies and calamities, lost jobs and horrible accidents. The same can be said of televised newscasts. Even the weather reports give their primary attention to storms, droughts, and blizzards. Tomorrow is usually “partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of rain,’ never ‘mostly clear with 80 percent chance of sunshine “(20).
Where is the happiness and the joy? What happened to it? Where did it go? Who stole the joy? Who ripped off everyone’s happiness? How come the church is seen as somber and rigid and not having a sense of humor? When did laughter and happiness and joy get stolen out of the church and out of many Christians lives?
Swindoll adds, “This long faced, heavy hearted attitude has now invaded the ranks of Christianity.” We have to many “Grumpy Old Christians” in the church. Who stole their joy? How come they don’t laugh? How come they don’t split a gut and bellow out with expressions of joy? I wonder if they need a vacation to go find their joyful, fun filled attitude again.
Turning ninety-five, comedian Bob Hope told TV guide the secret to his longevity: “Laughter is it. Laughter is therapy-an instant vacation.”
I agree with Bob Hope Laughter is therapy. So lets become therapists of dispensing laughter to one another.
Show- Cartoon of usher
T.S.- Happiness is a choice in life and Jesus desires us to be dispensers of joy.
I. When we have the “Be Happy Attitude” life is fun and not Ho hum.
a. The Lord desires us to live with a good sense of fun and laughter.
b. The words tells us this about joy:
i. Texts: Proverbs 15:13
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day (The Message).
· Happiness is the key to succeeding in this life. It’s what makes life worth living.
o It’s the smile from the little one you help each day.
o It’s the thank you from others for helping them out.
o It’s the attitude of looking at the gas tank as being half full and not half empty.
o It’s the heart that plays in the snow in April.
o It’s the one who rejoices in the traffic jam and looks at as a time to spend in prayer with the Lord.
o It’s the laughing with family and friends at our exploits.
· All of this makes it easier and delightful to go through the day.
All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast (NIV).
A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song (The Message).