Summary: No matter what goes on in my life, I will contend for happiness. Therefore in the midst of the most difficult circumstance, whatever I am faced it, may be uncomfortable but it does not shake my joy. Whenever I feel the adversary trying to steal my joy, I must find and Content for my Happiness.
TITLE: I THINK MYSELF HAPPY
SCRIPTURE: ACTS 26:1-3
Happiness is a state of Mind. It differs greatly from Joy. We as believers understand Joy comes from God and God alone. Joy is the state not predicated upon your Circumstance. Man cannot give you Joy and man cannot take it away. No matter what besets you, Joy is ever present. Even in the midst of Bereavement, when our hearts are yet broken and heavy, we are told WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR A NIGHT BUT JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING.
• Scripture does not say Happiness Cometh in the Morning
• But it says “Joy”
• We know to be absent in the flesh is to be ever present with the Lord
• That is Joy Unspeakable
God’s Spirit moves within His people and triggers that mechanism called “Joy.” This is why David said – THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE. Without the Word of God on the inside, there can be no real Joy.
• Man cannot mess with Gods Joy
• That’s how in the midst of problems – we can still have Joy
• That’s how in the midst of folks being up in your face – we can still have Joy
• When we are under spiritual attack – we can still have Joy
• When folks stop talking when you enter the room (and we know why conversation ceased) – we can still have Joy
In our text, Paul says – I Think Myself Happy – therefore; we must conclude happiness differs from joy. Happiness is determined by our Surroundings.
• When there is money in our Pocket - We are Happy
• When our money is funny - No Longer Happy
• When it is payday – We are Happy
• Three days later – No Longer Happy
• Riding up and down highway – We are Happy
• Car breaks down – No Longer Happy
• Bought a new car – We are Happy
• First payment due – No Longer Happy
Many of us are confused when it comes to understanding the difference between Joy and Happiness. The two words are not interchangeable. We as Christians should properly understand the message that Paul has delivered to us. Paul has given us a message that Joy reigns on the inside. ST. JOHN 15:11 “THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU, THAT MY JOY MAY REMAIN IN YOU, AND THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”
• Our Joy remains in us
• Our Joy springs Eternal
• Our Joy is Full because it is connected to the Lord
• The Lord’s Joy is placed in us “remains” in us and it is full because it is not based upon what we have or don’t have
Have you ever seen Christians in the Church and it seems as though they never smile? You ever seen Christians in the community seems like they are always frowning?
• Can I tell you, they are Saved
• They are in the Church
• They support few things within the life of the Church
• They give and support financially
• But they never seem to smile
• Problem is not found in their Joy
• The Problem resides in their Happiness
There is a difference between worldly happiness and joy. Happiness has its roots in desire – pleasure – self beneficial situations.
• To sum it up, it’s rooted in worldly things or situations
• Whereas joy is rooted in gratefulness to God
• Joy and Happiness come from two different power sources
Let’s examine the Text for a few minutes. Put yourself in Paul’s sandals - You’ve been arrested for doing nothing more than praying as a Jew in the Jewish Temple. You have been charged with a capital offense of which you are completely innocent, and now you have been unjustly imprisoned for two long years! At last you have a chance to tell your side of the story. Would the first words out of your mouth be, “I think myself happy” - I suspect we might be more prone to say something like –
• I think myself Sad
• I think myself Mad!
• I think myself Mistreated!
• I think myself a victim of scurrilous liars and cruel misfortunes of fate
But not Paul. His confession wasn’t that he was sad – mad – mistreated – victim of any kind. His confession was, I Think Myself Happy! He is found standing before King Agrippa and the Governor, Felix. He is facing further imprisonment simply because he chose to “Hold Up the Blood Stained Banner.”
• Standing before King Agrippa who has the power to set him free
• Council is found speaking amongst themselves
• They are trying to properly understand the crime he has been accused