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Summary: What does God want us to do for better emotional health?

God’s Plan for Our Health - Part 3: Our Emotional Health

Philippians 4:1-9

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - July 6, 2008

*How many emotions have you experienced this past week? -- Anger? Some of us rode to church with that one this morning. Anger, affection, anxiety, boredom, compassion, depression, disappointment, disgust, embarrassment, envy, fear, frustration, gratitude, grief, guilt, happiness, hatred, homesickness, humiliation, jealousy, loneliness, love, pride, regret, sadness, self-pity and shame. These are just some of the wide range of emotions we can all experience -- some good and some very bad. (1)

*God wants us to have a healthy emotional life, and the Word of God shows us how to get there. This is not to say that we can fix all of our problems by ourselves. Sometimes we may need professional help. My sister who passed away this year was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was about 35. Jane needed medical help, and she was much better when she took the right medicine for her illness. In Matt 9:12 Jesus said people who are sick need a doctor. And God uses medical professionals to help people every day. But the best help comes from God Himself. -- And He gives us a part in the process. What does God want us to do for better emotional health?

1. One of the best things we can do is be a peacemaker for the Lord. That’s what Paul was trying to do in vs. 1-3, when he said:

1. Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

2. I implore [I beseech, beg, urge, plead] Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

3. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.

*Euodia and Syntyche were having a disagreement, just like we have sometimes with our family, our friends, at school, at work, even at church. We don’t know what the argument was about. It wasn’t important enough for Paul to even mention. (Have you ever gotten into arguments over nothing?)

*We also don’t know who was to blame. It could have been Euodia’s fault, but her name meant “Pleasant Journey,” and I am sure she was a wonderful woman. Syntyche’s name meant “Pleasant Acquaintance.” Both of these women were good, Godly women. Both of them were saved; both of them had worked together with Paul to spread the Good News about Jesus. But now they were fussing, and fighting. Sometimes even the best of us don’t get along like we should.

*I read about an 8-year-old boy from Waterford, Connecticut who saved his sister’s life. Zachary saved his 6-year-old sister, Meghan, when she started choking on a piece of hard candy. Zachary noticed Meghan wasn’t breathing, and gave her the Heimlich maneuver, which he had learned on TV!

-But Zachary and his sister weren’t getting along too well when the reporter came to do an article on the rescue. The headline in the paper said, “Waterford boy, 8, saves sister’s life.” But the secondary headline underneath quoted Zachary saying, “I wouldn’t do it again. She’s been a pain this week.” (2)

*Has anybody been a pain in your life this week? Have you been a pain? Sometimes we are, but God wants us to do everything we can to be peacemakers. Vs. 3 urges us to “help” other people who are not getting along. That word “help” is a strong word with the word picture that means “seize, grab, capture or catch.” God want us to do everything we possibly can to help other people get along. We can be like Paul! We can be the glue that helps other people stick together.

*As Paul said in 2 Cor 1:24, we can be “helpers of (their) joy” -- with the wonderful blessing of helping our own joy. Helping other people will help take your mind off your own problems. So be a peacemaker for the Lord.

2. The 2nd thing we can do for our emotional health is park your heart on the joy of the Lord. As Paul said in vs. 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

*We can’t always rejoice in our health or our looks -- our finances, our family, our jobs, or our grades. We can’t always rejoice in our houses, our cars, our toys, or our accomplishments. -- But we can always rejoice in the Lord! Jesus wants to be our source of constant joy. We should have a nonstop, overflowing celebration of the Lord in our lives.

*It’s important to remember that when Paul wrote these words he was a prisoner of Rome, bound in chains. His only crime was telling the truth about Jesus. Paul could have easily been filled with bitterness. He could have said, “Lord, you know I have tried to do my best for you. I’ve been all over the world for you! Why have you left me stuck in these chains?”

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