Happiness and Joy? – All Things for Good - Purity 533
Purity 533 09/25/2021 Purity 533 Podcast
Today’s photo of a stunning view of a massive cloud formation over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico comes to us from a friend who spent the first day of Autumn at Honeymoon Beach near Clearwater Florida. I just love the sense of wonder and peace that this photo conveys and considering the marvelous developments in my life recently I thought a view from Honeymoon beach was wholly appropriate as I am filled with peace, joy, and wonder in contemplating a future with my beloved, Tammy Lyn.
While our story as a couple has just begun and may appear to be a sudden happenstance, the truth is that when we step back to look at the course of events in both our lives we can now clearly see that our converging paths were on a collision course and that we are destined to walk together.
When we recognize that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, we can see how the various twists and turns and ups and downs of our journeys were ultimately leading to today.
I was speaking to a brother in Christ last evening as we have drawn closer in friendship. We have recognized that our journeys are similar and that we each have a burning passion for sharing the truth of God’s word and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ in common. We shared more of our testimonies with one another and we laughed at how both of us have had moments in our lives before coming to faith in Christ where God’s providential hand was at work blessing us and protecting us even before we agreed to trust in Him. Even though we were lost at the time, God knew we were His and He cared for and protected us right up to the day when we finally surrendered and made Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Just following the twists and turns of one person’s life can make your head spin with amazement as in spite of rebellion, brokenness, and tragic events, that person was able to find their way to salvation and then follow the Lord in His purpose for them.
So, you can imagine how overjoyed and in awe I am when I consider the fact that God was with both Tammy Lyn and me throughout our lives working all things together for our good and how He guided our paths to one another.
I told Tammy Lyn after we confess our love for one another that I was experiencing happiness! Happiness is based on experiencing positive circumstances in your life. I said that because of my faith in Christ I had the joy of the Lord in my life even when circumstances weren’t so great but now the Lord saw to it to bring us together and I had both happiness and joy!
So as we go into the weekend, I encourage all my friends to draw close to God because regardless of the situations and circumstances that we are facing in this season of life, when we have a relationship with the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ we can have joy!
The joy of our salvation, the joy of His presence, the joy over His provision, the joy over our deliverance, the joy over our healing, the joy over His wisdom, and the joy over His love are all available to experience when we are walking in the Spirit.
So try to arrange the situations and circumstances of your life to find a little happiness this weekend. You can do that by getting together with friends and family, doing a favorite activity, visiting a favorite haunt or a new place, or just by treating yourself and getting some rest and relaxation. But in that pursuit of happiness, make sure that you bring the Lord along so He can add His joy to your experience.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Thessalonians 2:18 (NKJV)
18 Therefore we wanted to come to you--even I, Paul, time and again--but Satan hindered us.
Today’s verse speaks of spiritual reality of the enemy’s ability to affect even the lives of the most dedicated Christians.
There is a commonly held belief that the Christian’s “state of grace” makes them untouchable from any negative affects of demonic influence. The rationale behind this is belief is that because Christians receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit at salvation that the enemy can not oppress a Christian.
Today’s verse indicates that this doctrine of freedom from demonic oppression or influence for the Christian is not true. If the Apostle Paul who was blessed with a missionary spirit like no other and the gifts of healing and miracles is testifying to the fact that He was hindered by Satan, we should listen and believe that we must be on guard against the schemes and the attacks of the evil one.
Today’s verse is not the only verse that testifies of the reality of Satan and other demonic entities and their ability to affect Christians. Paul’s command to put on full armor of God in Ephesians makes no sense if we truly believe that the enemy can’t affect us. James’ instructions to resist the devil so that he will flee from us doesn’t make any sense if we are untouchable. The indication is that if we don’t put on the armor of God and resist the devil bad things will happen to even us Christians.
The examples of Judas, Christ’s betrayer (John 13:21-30(, Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), and the Apostle Peter (Matt 16:23) all show that Satan can affect believers by implanting his thoughts, temptations, condemnations, accusations, and lies into our minds.
So I committed today’s verse to an index card to point to yet another verse in the Bible that clearly demonstrates the spiritual realities that are unseen but can affect our Christian walk.
For a thorough discourse on this spiritual warfare and overcoming the enemy, I would recommend Dr. Neil Anderson’s the Bondage Breaker, and if you would like you could listen to our lessons on His book on the mt4christ247 podcast.
So be on guard to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Evaluate the thoughts that run into your mind and if they don’t agree with the word of God refute them with God’s truth and your intention to live for Him.
The ultimate victory has been won by Christ, but we will need to submit to God and resist the devil as we walk out our purpose in Christ. When we focus on the truth of God’s Word and who we are in Christ the enemy is defeated and we can overcome life’s problems and negative mind states to enjoy the growth of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
So keep walking and talking with God. Enjoy the victories you have won but keep moving forward in the upward call of Christ to take back more ground from the enemy and claim it for God’s kingdom.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from June Hunt’s Boundaries: How to Set Them, How to Keep Them.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
F. How to Maintain Your Boundaries
On the day that Rosie Ruiz steals the spotlight at the 1980 Boston Marathon, the rightful female winner, who maintains boundaries and rightly deserves attention, is virtually snubbed by the media.
Jacqueline Gareau of Canada crosses the finish line in two hours, 34 minutes, and 28 seconds and indeed is the fastest woman at the world-renowned race. She is a French-Canadian who has been described as an object of grace over the years, bearing no ill will toward Rosie and living life in full optimism.
"I just laugh," the 60-year-old former competitor reflects. "It doesn't bother me. I really don't think about her anymore."
But marathon great Bill Rodgers is quick to defend Jacqueline, believing she got robbed of her rightful honor. The Boston Athletic Association is eager to stand by her side as well. Jacqueline is awarded two gold medals, and Bill observes: "It was her ultimate biggest win and I doubt the public is aware of her. She lost the moment. I always say that the most famous marathoner of all time is Rosie Ruiz. I guess infamous is more accurate."
Bill models the call of the following Scripture concerning Jacqueline. . . .
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."
After setting boundaries, it is very common for the people around you to test them to see whether you really intend to keep them in place. They have been accustomed to getting what they want, so they will try very hard to get you to go back to your past behavior. However, remember that just like in any sport, boundary lines are in place to help everyone. Remember this counsel from God's Word...
"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' and to insight, 'You are my relative.'"
- Pay attention to your feelings and watch for early warning signs that let you know you are beginning to lose sight of your boundaries.
- —Remind yourself why you personally set the boundary in the first place.
- "I set the boundary because _________________."
- —Remember, repercussions are okay. . . . They exist because difficult people choose to violate the boundaries . . . not because you set the boundaries.
- —Rehearse what the Word of God says. . . .
- "I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).
- Plan ahead by role playing with a friend . . . or even just by yourself in front of a mirror . . . how to say no.
- —Begin with simple situations where saying no has little impact; for example, saying no to a telemarketer who calls during your favorite television show. "I'm sorry but I don't have time to talk with you. I'm sure your cause is a worthy one but I must say no. Thank you for calling . . . good-bye." If they are persistent, just repeat what you have already said and gently hang up the phone.
- —Be aware of how you feel after hanging up the phone. Thank God by reaffirming that the boundary
- was good for you.
- —Believe that as you continue to enforce your boundaries . . . it will get easier to exercise self-control and maintain your boundaries.
- "gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:23).
- Recognize that any feeling of guilt over setting your boundaries is false guilt because you have not done anything wrong. It is okay . . . and even healthy for you to establish and maintain personal boundaries.
- —Appreciate the importance of consistency with your boundaries in helping others honor them.
- —Apply the repercussions when your boundary has been violated.
- —Always keep the end goal in mind as you persevere.
- "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised" (Hebrews 10:36).
- Rejoice as you continue to keep your personal boundaries and find yourself "set free"!
- —Trust that God will give you strength for this journey.
- —Think about the other people in your life and honor their boundaries . . . recognizing that their boundaries are important to them . . . and are not a negative statement about you. Don't take boundaries set by others personally. Their personal boundaries are set to protect them, not to offend you.
- —Thank God that He gave you such value when he sacrificed His only Son for you. Therefore, you are worthy . . . as His child . . . to protect yourself with boundaries.
- "And pray that we may he delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one" (2 Thessalonians 3:2-3).
Biblical Counseling Keys: Boundaries: How to See Them - How to Keep Them.
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