Summary: When times get tough, don’t let stress create a rift between you and God or others.
Happiness When Times Are Tough
Jeffery Anselmi / General
• I believe one of the most difficult times to be happy is when times are stressful and tough.
• Lord knows we are going through some tough and stressful times right now, and I hope it does not get worse.
• We were told we are going to go through a dark winter. LOL
• When we are stressed over life we tend to quit focusing on what is important and we center ourselves on the negative and the problem.
• In our nation, we are bent on destroying those who do not agree with us. Our politics are poison, our communities are poison.
• People are trying to tell other people how to life, even warning them about getting together on Thanksgiving.
• Our social media, especially Facebook, are increasingly negative.
• I do not even turn on the news much anymore, it is so negative and the media has been weaponized now.
• Even sports are getting hard to watch because of the negativity.
• I saw a post by a person who simply said they were switching to the MeWe social app.
• The folks on Facebook ripped into the person, accusing her of all kinds of bad things, evening implying she was a racist for going to MeWe?
• She made no pronouncement as to why she was going to MeWe by the way.
• When we get stressed we tend to allow that stress to cause a rift with other people as well as with God.
• By the way, I added my two-cents worth for the lady on Facebook.
• I simply asked why the person’s choice to move to another platform is a problem, and why are folks assuming the worst, and why on earth cannot we just agree to disagree at times?
• All the things that are happening around us as a result of the virus has caused a lot of stress.
• Job losses, toilet paper shortages, lack of things to do, so much negative stuff to focus on.
• So, that begs the question, as a Christian, how are we to handle all this negativity and stress? How can I be happy when things are super stressful?
• Our Big Idea of the Message is this: When times get tough, don’t let stress create a rift between you and God or others.
• We are going to look at how we can accomplish this feat!
• Let’s turn to Philippians 4, we will be in verses 2-9, but we will begin with verses 2-3.
Philippians 4:2–3 CSB
2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to agree in the Lord.
3 Yes, I also ask you, true partner, to help these women who have contended for the gospel at my side, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the book of life.
I. Be Happy in your relationships.
• The church was facing some difficulties, Paul was in prison, times were stressful.
• Within the church there was a problem large, that Paul calls out two ladies who have worked with him before.
• Euodia (YOU OD DI A) and Syntyche (SENT TA KEY) were in the middle of a spat of unknown origins.
• The word URGE is a word that means to beg or encourage.
• Why does Paul care about a spat that two ladies are having?
• One reason is it looks bad for Christians to not get along.
• Second, a small spark can cause a huge fire, the animosity these ladies were dishing out toward one another had the potential of spreading throughout the church.
• These ladies had worked together in the past, but now were at odds with one another.
• Each woman is given equal responsibility to make an attempt to live in harmony with each other.
Romans 12:18 CSB
18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
• When things get stressful around the house, what do we do? We go at each other, we forget that God blessed us with our spouse and we go on the attack, focusing on every negative thing we can focus upon.
• Paul is asking his friend to help fix the situation.
• In the church when things get stressful, what do we do? We start ripping into one another. Mack, no mask, church open, church close? Rd carpet, purple carpet!
• When we lose focus on who we are and who we belong to, and who the person we are going after belongs to and who they are, we forget how blessed we are that the person is a part of our life.
• We need to focus in on the blessings that our relationships bring to our life.