Summary: If I want to learn to be truly happy, I want to learn from someone who didn’t have everything just handed to them, I want to learn from someone who had some struggles and was still happy. So I choose to learn from the Apostle Paul.
“Let’s start a Movement!”
Philippians 1: 9-19
For those of us who really enjoy reading your probably will aware that there is a book out there on every topic you can imagine. Many offer self-help; advice on how to change your life for how to achieve a particular goal. If you want to be wealthy the book think and grow Rich by Napoleon Hill has been read by over 100 million people. A lot of people apparently want to be rich. If you need friends and want to make a greater influence on others there is the book how to Win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie and it has sold 15 million copies. All of us want more friends. But here’s one you may not have thought of... If you want to learn to be truly happy then read the book of Philippians written by the apostle Paul.
Napoleon Hill became a millionaire, was a great success story and taught 13 principles on how to become wealthy. He went from having nothing to becoming quite wealthy so I suppose if that is your goal in life, he would be someone you would want to listen to. I mean if someone became a millionaire because their daddy gave them $1 million they don’t have much to teach me. I want to learn from someone who is actually done it. Even though the odds were completely against them.
So if I want to learn to be truly happy, I want to learn from someone who didn’t have everything just handed to them, I want to learn from someone who is had some struggles, that life wasn’t always easy for and somehow they overcame all of. So I choose to learn from the apostle Paul. This is what his resume looked like...
• Beaten with rods three times
• shipwrecked three times
• often without food
• beaten, received 39 lashes five different times
Placed in prison at least four times. Probably would never have found a church in our day that would’ve hired him yet Paul said these things….
• Rejoice in the Lord always
• I can do all things through Christ
• In Acts 16 Paul was imprisoned-the jailer went to his cell see what all the noise was about it he and Silas were singing songs of praise to help the other prisoners.
For Paul, happiness was never based on his circumstances. For most of us it is... If we can just overcome this or we can just deal with that one family member... You know who I mean-everybody has one-then everything will be fine. Paul had the ability to know happiness regardless of his circumstances. And here is why. Paul had focus and he knew how to focus on the things that really matter in life. Listen to what Paul says in Philippians 1:9-19.
So we’re talking about pursuing happiness and we are traveling together down this road; this path called life and as we travel down this path is always our desire that this path is going to take us to our destination which is to be happy. But on that journey it is not unusual at all to hit some bumps in the road, to get sidetracked. And when those problems step in and they may come in the form of him bump in the road, a pothole, a flat tire or even a complete breakdown. It is at that point that we must make some important decisions. And we have to ask questions like, is it worth it for me to continue on this path? And I thought it was. It looked like he was going to get me to my destination but now look what has happened. Maybe it’s best for me to just turn around and go in a different direction. A different path. So what happens to so many of us, so many times is that even though we are on the correct path when roadblocks get in the way, too often we come to one of two conclusions...
1. Life is not supposed to be this difficult. So I must be on the wrong path. So we get off the path and we turn in another direction.
2. Overcoming the roadblock just doesn’t seem to be worth it. It takes too much time and energy so we don’t run but we just decide to drop out for a while—kind of sit on the side of the road and try to forget about it. Or sit there and wait until someone comes along and says, hey you need to move
So Paul has some good advice for us when we are stuck in this area and here it is. Look at verse 10. So here’s my paraphrase of that passage.