Sermons

Summary: The Bible does offer great advice and instruction on how to deal with and overcome many of life’s everyday challenges including being down and out.

Living Beyond the “Down and Out” II

(Advice adapted from Rick Warren’s

“God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions”)

{DVD – Laughter is Contagious}

[ILLUS: “Laughter Really is the Best medicine” states Sue Casiglia – Lets look at some highlights from her study:

> The affect of laughter on the body is immediate. Laughing actually lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and increases muscle flexion.

> It also increases your resistance level to infections.

> Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being.

> Laughter is used as a pain management technique for terminally ill cancer patients. Patients who regularly employ laughter therapy are found to be more tolerant of pain than those who don’t.

> Down at the Miller Center in the Pallative Care unit there is the laughing doctor. Who spreads cheer and laughter in the midst of the most difficult times – losing a loved one.]

[ILLUS: Most of us are familiar with this song – it’s the theme from the television show Friends. But have you ever caught the lyrics to the song? They read, in part:

So no one told you life was gonna be this way

Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear

When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

You know, some of us can relate to that first verse a little more than others. We all have bad days, but for some of us those bad days have stretched into bad weeks, months or even years. It is not uncommon to get down.

We find ourselves talking like Eeyore “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” We have a pessimistic, browbeaten, downcast view of life. We suddenly find that we can’t sleep, we’ve lost (or gained) weight, some days we just don’t want to get out of bed. If you can relate to what I’m talking about, then you might just want to pay a little more attention.]

LIFE is no respecter of persons...

> Financial stress, Employment problems,

> Family situations, Health concerns,

> Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual issues.

However the Bible does offer great advice and instruction on how to deal with many of life’s everyday challenges. By applying these instructions to your life, you will be empowered and enabled to live beyond you circumstance. What do we need to do??????

The first issue I would like to address is…

1. Focus on the Truth – Not the Feelings:

WHY? Feelings are not always true. Feelings are not facts. Typically they are highly unreliable. You cannot reason with emotions.

John 8:32 “…know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

[ILLUS: I get up in the morning and say…

> I feel like playing the piano this morning…

> I feel like a millionaire…

> I feel like the strongest man in the world…

Truth is…

> I can’t play the piano for beans.

> I am not a millionaire.

> Although I have an incredible shape and physique, I am not the strongest man in the world.]

[ILLUS: Or we may get up in the morning and say…

> I don’t feel like a Christian (Believer) any more…

> I don’t feel like God cares about my situation…

> I feel like a total failure…

Truth is…

> The Bible says if I commit my life to Jesus Christ then I am one.

> God’s love and concern for you has never changed.

> You have made mistakes just like everybody else. The only people who don’t make mistakes are people who don’t do anything.]

Psychologists will probably say it’s important to give a voice to your feelings – it can be extremely therapeutic. There’s nothing wrong with getting your feelings out in the open, become aware of them; vent them.

BUT never to give a life to those feelings. Don’t live your life according to your feelings.

If you desire to live beyond being down and out, focus on the Truth, not your feelings because is the truth that will set you free.

2. Leave the ‘JONES’ alone.

[ILLUS: Relevant illustration about keeping up with the Jones]

Keeping up with the Jones will prove to be more and more challenging and demanding.

Have you ever fallen into the trap?

“If I could be just like __________, I’d be happy!”

2 Corinthians 10:12 “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.”

There are people who paid a very high price for comparing themselves with the Jones. People have …

> Lost their respect,

> Lost their families,

> Lost their livelihood,

> Went bankrupt, etc

All because they keep comparing themselves with the Jones and trying to keep up with them.

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