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Featured Resource Philippians 4:4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord.

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Presentation on theme: "Featured Resource Philippians 4:4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Featured Resource

3 Philippians 4:4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

4 THE PERVASIVE PROBLEM OF JOYLESSNESS Philippians 4:4-7

5 We all want to have joy.

6 We are all confused about joy. Webster says joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; delight.” SORTA…

7 We are all confused about joy. Joy is a settled state of hopeful contentment  It is not something we just produce… Joy always has an object or source  Can’t exist in a vacuum…

8 We are all confused about joy. Jeremiah 2:13 -- For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

9 We are all confused about joy. Jeremiah 2:13 -- For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

10 We are all confused about joy. Jeremiah 2:13 -- For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

11 We are all confused about joy. Jeremiah 2:13 -- For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water. Cistern = stores water from another source; connected to a toilet oftentimes

12 We are all confused about joy. Jeremiah 2:13 -- For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water. Fountain = source of water; continually refreshes (itself and the partaker)

13 Some Common Cisterns “Off Limits Goodies”:  Sexual Adventure No commitment, no relationship, pushing the envelope of new experiences & fantasies  Limitless Irresponsibility & Pleasure Drunkenness & Drugs Quitting job & living on the lake while family suffers

14 Some Common Cisterns “Allowed Goodies”:  Married Sex Recent studies show that married couples have the most satisfying sex Yet even that is limited & fleeting…  Vacations Many of us build our year around these Yet they are never perfect, and they always end

15 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Discontentment:  Eph. 4: Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

16 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Discontentment:  Eph. 4: Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. Deceived Thinking Hardened Hearts Discontent Lives

17 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Discontentment:  Eph. 4: Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. Deceived Thinking Hardened Hearts Discontent Lives Phil. 4:10-13, I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. 11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

18 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Anxiety:  Matthew 6: “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the

19 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Anxiety:  field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

20 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Anxiety:  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

21 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Anxiety:  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Deceived Thinking Self Reliance Anxious Lives

22 What do our cisterns produce? Perpetual Anxiety:  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Deceived Thinking Self Reliance Anxious Lives 1 Peter 5:7 -- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

23 How can we get and keep joy? Phil. 4:4 -- Rejoice in the Lord… Nehemiah 8:10 – the joy of the LORD is your strength

24 We must choose to know God  Psalm 34: Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.  Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  John 17:3 -- This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.

25 We must choose to know God  Psalm 34: Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.  Romans 6:23 -- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  John 17:3 -- This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ. Phil. 3: But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.

26 We must cultivate gratitude Phil. 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Choosing to trust God’s goodness

27 We must cultivate gratitude Phil. 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Choosing to trust God’s goodness Habakkuk 3: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

28 We must cultivate gratitude Phil. 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Choosing to trust God’s goodness Phil. 4: Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise— dwell on these things. 9 Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

29 We must cultivate gratitude Phil. 4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Choosing to trust God’s goodness 2 Cor. 5:21 -- God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

30 We must rethink suffering “I think one of the most serious theological blind spots in the western church is a defective understanding of suffering. There seems to be a lot of reflection on how to avoid suffering and on what to do when we hurt. We have a lot of teaching about escape from and therapy for suffering, but there is inadequate teaching about the theology of suffering. Christians are not taught why they should expect suffering as followers of Christ and why suffering is so important for healthy growth as a Christian. So

31 We must rethink suffering suffering is viewed only in a negative light. The “good life,” comfort, convenience, and a painless life have become necessities that people view as basic rights. If they do not have these, they think something has gone wrong. So when something like inconvenience or pain comes, they do all they can to avoid or lessen it. One of the results of this attitude is a severe restriction of spiritual growth, for God intends us to grow through trials.” -Ajith Fernando in The Call to Joy and Pain

32 We must rethink suffering suffering is viewed only in a negative light. The “good life,” comfort, convenience, and a painless life have become necessities that people view as basic rights. If they do not have these, they think something has gone wrong. So when something like inconvenience or pain comes, they do all they can to avoid or lessen it. One of the results of this attitude is a severe restriction of spiritual growth, for God intends us to grow through trials.” -Ajith Fernando in The Call to Joy and Pain James 1: Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

33 We must rethink suffering suffering is viewed only in a negative light. The “good life,” comfort, convenience, and a painless life have become necessities that people view as basic rights. If they do not have these, they think something has gone wrong. So when something like inconvenience or pain comes, they do all they can to avoid or lessen it. One of the results of this attitude is a severe restriction of spiritual growth, for God intends us to grow through trials.” -Ajith Fernando in The Call to Joy and Pain Colossians 1: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body, that is, the church. 25 I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

34 Going Forward… Have you made a settled decision to make the Lord your source of joy?  Or are you thinking everything will just work itself out? Are you fighting to stay sane?  Or are you ok with being spiritually bipolar? Are you ready to study this issue with us for the next 3 months or so?  Look at the life of Job, Moses, Hagar, an anonymous suffering woman, Paul, Hudson Taylor…

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