Bible Reference: Phil 4:4-13.
The pastor started his sermon by mentioning that 80% of sickness comes from stress. A happy person is also a healthy person. The "7 Steps to Happiness" are:
- Rejoice in the Lord always 4:4. Joy comes from the Lord and from our dependence and trust in the Lord. Consider the uncertainties of the world - the floods, the earthquakes, the weather, and the pandemic, etc, who and what can we trust?
- Be humble and giving way to others. 4:5. The English translation is "reasonableness" (ESV), "moderation"(KJV), gentle behavior (BBE), forbearance (CJB). The Chinese translation is the more powerful words "谦让的心" which I translated as the heart of humility and giving ways to others. We are told often to fight for our rights. It is often better to give ways even though we have the right of way!
- Don't Worry. There is nothing for us to worry about because our God loves us and hear and answer our requests. 4:6-7. If we have any worries, we must first bring our worries to God. Present our concerns, ask for solutions, and give thanks for the answer. God's answer can be Yes, No, or Wait. Whatever, we thank God for the His answer. We are not to insist God answers us according to our wish. Imagine a kid insisting that God gives him a mustache so that he can be like his father. When we give thanks for God's answer, meaning we accept God's answer even if it goes against our wish, God's peace will guard our hearts and keep our minds in Christ - the source and power of life and peace.
- Think about the Good Things 4:8. We become what we think (Prov 23:7). Pastor shared the story of a great bible scholar whose house was broken into. He gave thanks to God for four things:
- It was the 1st break-in in such a long time.
- Only little things were stolen. He can buy them again.
- It happened when he was not in the house. He was not harmed or frightened.
- The thief committed a sin. He did not commit any sin.
- Practice, Follow the Words 4:9. Bad things happen because we don't follow the Words of God (the Bible) or the commands given by God when we pray. We focus on the circumstances instead of Jesus' assurance and we blame God for not giving us peace! We must change our talk and our walk to conform to what God says about us.
- Being Loved is a Great feeling. 4:10. Paul was grateful that the Philippians had given him much help and concern.
- Being Contented is a great joy. 4:11-12. Paul concluded with great joy in v13 that because of Christ, he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. See also Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese Classics 11 Contentment in Whatever Situations.
The Principles for Greatness: #3 Contented Yet Be Better.
The Book of Philippians is the Book of Joy. A key summary message is about "How to Have Joy Despite the Persecution" . Here is a mind-map summary of the teaching. Hope you understand your calling, find the meaning and purpose of life, and know how to live it joyfully.
The pastor ended with "有主万事足, 无罪一身轻".
Having Christ is contentment in everything.
A Sin free life is a lightness for the body.
See also Joy - Biblical View
and Take a Different View - Getting Rid of Grudges
Lim Liat (C) 16 Oct 2011