Summary: Destination Disease says, "I can’t be happy right now because..." But Happiness is a CHOICE according to God’s Word.
Text: Philippians 4:12-13
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I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me the strength.
Over the past several weeks I have noticed a lot of sickness going around the church. We have seen quite a rash of the flu, stomach virus and even sinus infections. But one of the most dangerous sicknesses that people really need to watch out for is the sickness called…
Destination Disease can destroy even a great church like Calvary Christian Center. If it starts spreading, it can cause pandemonium to break out.
What is Destination Disease?
…it’s worse than a cold
…Far worse than the flu, AND IT
…Makes a stomach virus seem like a walk in the park!
Destination Disease is a disease that says, “I can’t be happy right now. My current situation does not allow me to be happy”.
Destination Disease says, I will only be happy when…
q I get a new job
q I get a new boss
q I get a new car
q I get rid of my old car
q I get a new husband
q I get rid of my old husband
q I make 10k more per year
q I move out on my own
q I get married
q I get divorced
q I move to a different city
q I get a better church
q I get a better pastor
q I get to go on vacation
q I win the lottery
q I pay off all my bills
q My business takes off
q My business slows down
q I lose weight
q I gain weight
q I finally finish school
q My wife quits buggin’me
q My husband starts paying attention to me
q My mom quits griping
q My dad quits yelling
In short, Destination Disease says, “I cannot be happy right now, something has to change or be different in order for me to be happy”.
This Destination Disease is a serious matter, because in the same way you don’t feel like yourself when you are sick, you don’t act like yourself when you have “Destination Disease”.
As we begin to look at this today, let me make three observations:
Observation # 1 – Our Outlook on Life Goes Up and Down with Our Emotional State.
For most of us, it’s not the reality of bad things happening in our lives (cancer, etc.) it’s the perception of bad things (stress, worry, etc) that affects our emotional state.
Even something as simple as the weather can affect how we feel from day-to-day. Even Pastors are prone to this. They wake up on Sunday morning and look out of the window, and if it’s raining they go, “Oh no, now people are going to stay home from church today”. And they allow their emotions to go up or down with the weather.
Observation # 2- We Oftentimes Forget that this Life is Temporary and Heaven is Eternal!
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Observation # 3- Uncertainty Increases Our Insecurity.
When we don’t know what’s going to happen next, we have a tendency to WORRY. When we worry, we have a tendency to get uptight. When we get uptight, we have a tendency to become unhappy.
So the key in this situation is to understand that God is in control…NOT US!
It puts us back in the situation where we have to trust God and have faith for the future!
Three “Cures” for Destination Disease…
Principle # 1 – UNDERSTAND THAT HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE!
Many people just cringed when I said that. We have been so conditioned to believe that happiness is a state of being (in other words out of control) instead of being taught that happiness is a choice! We have been conditioned to believe that happiness is what happens to us based upon outside factors. The truth is happiness is what happens INSIDE that, in turn, affects the outside things (like attitude, emotions, being in a rage or being calm).
We (all of us) myself included, need to understand that happiness is a decision, not an emotion!
Now someone might say, but Tommy, that sounds like a bunch of self-help, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale hocus-pocus. Actually, it’s a very biblical principle.
Notice what Paul said in Philippians 4 verse 8…
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.