Summary: How can we have a happier home? 1. Remember to rejoice in the Lord (vs. 13 & 15). 2. Focus your fear on the Lord (vs. 16). 3. Live in godly love (vs. 17). 4. Act to overcome your anger (vs. 18). 5. Walk in the wisdom of God's Word (vs. 14&20).
Help for a Happier Home
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - June 8, 2014
*How are things going in your family these days? -- If things are going well right now, then praise the Lord! But all families have problems from time to time, and that certainly includes Christian homes.
*In the late 1990s, "Family Life" in Little Rock developed what they called a "Family Needs Survey." By April of 2000, they had collected over 10,000 anonymous responses from local churches. Only 42% of those Christian couples were willing to say they had a good marriage. 43% said they were in the "yellow light" area, with signs of trouble. And 15% said they were in the "red light" area, in big trouble, headed for divorce. (1)
*All families have problems. But God wants to help us. He wants to help us have happier homes. God wants to help all of us have better lives. In fact, God wants to give us the best life possible. Let's look into His Word and see how to get there.
1. First Christians: Remember to rejoice in the Lord.
*Solomon points out the value of god-given joy in vs. 13. There the wise king said this: "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." A "merry heart" here means a "glad, gleeful, rejoicing heart." So vs. 13 in the New Living Translation says: "A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit." And vs. 13 in the "The Message" says: "A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day." Generally speaking, God wants His followers to be cheerful. He wants us to have His inward joy that shows up on the outside too.
*You see, it's good to smile and laugh for the right reasons, and it's good for us. Jerry Shirley explained that laughter is a gift God gave us to help release tension. It helps keep our spirits from being broken in this deeply troubled world. And it is one of God's ways of keeping us healthy.
*'Executive Digest' once reported on a study on how laughter affects people. They found that laughter has an instant effect on almost every important organ in our bodies. Laughter reduces unhealthy tensions, and relaxes the tissues. It also exercises our most vital organs. It helps us both mentally and physically. So we need to laugh. (2)
*And I am quite sure that God has a sense of humor. Anyone who created giraffes, hippos, monkeys and koala bears would have to have a sense of humor.
*I can see the Lord's sense of humor in Mark's report of Jesus walking on the water. After Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000, Mark 6 says:
45. Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.
46. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
47. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. (John 16:9 tells us this happened after the disciples had rowed 25 or 30 furlongs. That's 3 or 4 miles out!)
48. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night He came to them. . . (Matthew 14: 24 tells us the boat was in the middle of the sea, tossed by wind-driven waves. And the fourth watch of the night was probably sometime between 3 and 6 o'clock in the morning.)
*With all that in mind, Mark 6:48 says: "Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by."
*Picture the scene: Middle of the night, middle of the sea, middle of a big storm, Jesus came walking on the sea, "and would have passed them by." I can see the Lord smiling and waving as He started to pass them by. That's a sense of humor.
*And Mark went on to say:
49. But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out;
50. for they all saw Him and were troubled. And immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.''
51. Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.
*Just before He calmed that storm, Jesus said: "Be of good cheer!'' The Lord said that, because He wanted them (and us) to have His joy in our hearts! That's also why Jesus told His followers this in John 16:33: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.''