Summary: Jesus is bigger than what you are going through
Intro: (Start w/Blank)
In Budapest, a Jewish man went to his rabbi and complained, "Life is unbearable for my family & I. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?"
The rabbi thought about it for a moment and answered, "Take your goat into the room with you."
The man was overwhelmed, but the rabbi insisted: "Do as I say and come back in a week."
A week later the man came back looking even more distraught than before. "We cannot stand it," he told the rabbi. "The goat is filthy."
The rabbi then told him, "Go home and let the goat out. Come back in a week."
A week later, the man returned all excited and he exclaimed, "Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of our lives now. There’s no goat – just the nine of us."
When people consider how to be content in this life, there are times they think like that. They think: It could be worse. Like the poem I once read:
From the day of your birth
‘Til you ride in a hearse
There is nothing that’s happened
That couldn’t be worse.
Now there’s some value in considering that no matter what you face – it could get worse. And, if that helps you to learn to appreciate what you have, that’s great. “Jesus is bigger than what you are going through.”
I want to challenge you this week. The title of the sermon is “The answer to your problems.” The title assumes a few things – It assumes you are breathing, and that you have problems. Sometimes I think the two are related. We are going to talk about 5 different things this morning, and if you do these things over the course of the next month, the in-laws that are going to be at your house for Thanksgiving – they won’t seem so bad. You do these things over the course of the next month – You will love your husband or wife more, you will encourage your kids more, you will be a better parent, you will be a better child, you will have a better relationship with Jesus and be a better witness for your friends, and neighbors. If you do these things over the next month, the students that you teach won’t be so un teachable and the teachers that you have won’t be so bossy. If everyone here will do all 5 of these things over the next month, before the beginning of the year we’ll have 80 people in this church on Sunday morning. The joy will be spilling over – we won’t be able to keep people away. I don’t want you to just do it, I want you to do it with a passion.
Turn with me this morning to our text: (advance) Philippians 4:4-9 (read)
I think enclosed in this section of scripture are 5 instructions. Because I learned to preach at Ozark Christian College – this is still a 3 point sermon. The first: (advance)
I. Internalize your Joy (4-5)
As Paul was sitting on the cruise ship headed for Cancun, Mexico he wrote to the church. – that was a joke – Paul was in prison. He was in chains for the gospel. In Philippians chapter one Paul tells the same church starting with verse 6 “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” He wrote them one verse later -- (advance) Philippians 1:7 – It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. What does it mean to have eternal joy? First let’s figure out what it doesn’t mean. (advance)
a. Internal Joy DOES NOT MEAN. (advance)
i. That you smile when you are hurting (advance)
ii. Being fake
1. That you are someone part of the time and someone else another part. (advance)
iii. Enthusiasm –
1. Your surroundings might bring external joy – but they won’t bring internal.
What is Internal Joy? (advance)
b. Internal Joy – WHAT IT DOES MEAN? (advance)
i. Contentment (advance)
Philippians 4:12 – I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
1. Being ok, in any situation
Horatio Gates Spafford, a 43 year old Chicago Businessman, suffered financial disaster in the great Chicago fire of 1871. He and his wife were still grieving over the death of their son shortly before the fire, and he realized they needed to get away for a vacation. Knowing that their friend Dwight L. Moody was going to preach in evangelistic campaigns in England that fall, Spafford decided to take his entire family to England. His wife and four daughters went ahead on the SS Ville du Havre, and he planned to follow in a few days.