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Summary: How to forget the good, the bad, and the ugly in our past.

FORGETTING THE PAST

Philippians 3:12-21

Kelly Hudnall

There is a very good reason why God instructs us through the words of the Apostle Paul, to be joyful always. And it’s not simply b/c God doesn’t like a sour puss!

I remember when I was growing up, if I got upset or pouted over something my dad would say this, "you better wipe that sour look off your face and quit crying right now, or I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT."

This isn’t at all why God instructs us to be JOYFUL ALWAYS! He doesn’t say this b/c He can’t tolerate sad sacks and sour pusses, okay?

The Apostle Paul tells us why it is important to BE JOYFUL ALWAYS in verse 1 of chapter 3.

The NIV says telling you to be joyful always

is a safeguard for you.

The NLT says telling you to be joyful always

is for your own good

The Word of God makes it very clear here that we are to be JOYFUL ALWAYS for our own good or as a safeguard! For our own well-being.

I also remember when I was growing up, that many times my dad would tell me to do something and I (being the non-compliant person I am) would reply, "why?" "Why do I have to do this?" or "Why can’t I do that?" And many times, in frustration and anger dad would simply reply back, "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

Paul is NOT saying, "be joyful always, no matter what! BECAUSE God SAYS SO!"

GOD ONLY instructs us in what will be best for our lives. God never tells us to do something just b/c HE SAID SO. God is love and God has all knowledge and wisdom. He knows what is best for us and He wants what is best for us even more than we want it for ourselves!

God tells us to be joyful in all things because there are many, many blessings attached to being JOYFUL! And He wants us to be blessed! BUT HE ALWAYS GIVES US THE CHOICE.

I. WHY

God tells us to be joyful because...

A. THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH.

Neh 8:10 "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

1. If we lose our joy, we lose our strength.

a. We become depressed, hopeless and weak.

b. We lose our drive to keep going.

c. Have you ever worked with someone who is full of joy? They move about with a spring in their step, whistling, humming, singing all the while.

And then on the other hand, have you ever worked with someone who has lost their joy? They move very slowly, all slumped over with a frown on their face like they’re about to keel over.

Which one would hire to get a job done? The one who is joyful, right?

2. IF we lose our joy, We lose our ability to stand against the powers of Satan and win!

God tells us to be joyful because...

B. A JOYFUL HEART IS LIKE GOOD MEDICINE!

Prov 17:22 "A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones". (NKJ)

1. A joyful heart brings healing to your whole being (spirit, soul & body).

a. I remember Todd telling of a man named Norman Cousins who was diagnosed with cancer and given only a few months to live. He was healed after watching several comedic movies and laughing throughout each of them.

2. A sad heart can lead to a broken spirit, soul & body.

a. I read a medical article that said that most sickness and disease is psychosomatic.

b. Definition of psychosomatic "illness caused or aggravated by mental stress."

c. I don’t know of a better way to get rid of mental stress than through joy and laughter.

d. Rodney Howard Browne.

I went through 3 ½ yrs of deep depression, went to the Brownsville Revival services and after much holy laughter, I was healed and set free from depression! I had never experienced anything quite like that. As I laid on the carpet of the Brownsville Assembly of God sanctuary, I laughed hysterically and uncontrollably. These words kept rolling over and over in my spirit, "laughter doeth good like a medicine, take another drink."

God tells us to be joyful because...

C. A JOYFUL PERSON’S LIFE IS A NON-STOP PARTY.

Prov 15:15 "All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast." (NKJ)

1. Your life can be a continual party!

a. JOY is based on choice, not circumstances!

b. Therefore, like Paul, we can choose JOY no matter the circumstances.

c. Paul was chained to a guard 24 hrs a day in a Roman prison cell, awaiting possible execution, but you read his letters and it’s obvious that the man was having a "CONTINUAL FEAST"! Right there in that prison cell w/his captors!

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