Sunday, December 14, 2014

Humbug Theology: Discouragement

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

  • Do you feel like a Grinch?
  • Do you think anyone would describe you as a Grinch?
  • Have you ever been called a Grinch?
Unhappy people
  1.  believe life is hard.
  2.  believe most people can't be trusted.
  3.  concentrate on what is wrong.
  4. harbor jealousies
  5. strive to control life.
  6. worry
  7. gossip and complain.
So, are you happy?

When we pray, do we spend a lot of time on problems and little time on praising?

Isaiah 9:2-4  Emmanuel: God with us.  How great things are when God is with us!

Have you ever felt gloomy, had a bad day; felt everything you do is a failure?  Christ wants to bring you out of darkness and into His glorious light.  To do something in your life that changes everything, you must rejoice.

Pick up and move on; our joy is in the Lord!

His light pierces every shadow of darkness

Isaiah tells us what joy looks like.  He compares it to harvest time.  The preparation and sowing is labor intensive; harvest means everything:  the labor is not in vain!  Rejoice

Joy is not in the struggle of sowing, but in the harvest.  Sow in tears, but reap in joy.

That thing robbing you of joy:  God will do a work in you.  You pray in tears, reap in joy.

Too, Isaiah compares joy to victory in battle, the dividing of plunder and rejoicing in conquest.

James said Consider it pure joy when you face trials.
  • Temptation attacks our weak spot, comes from the temptor, or from within.
  • Trials come to test strength, and to strengthen; from the Lord.
The joy of the Lord is our strength.  Hardships and struggle precede joy.

Advent:  celebration of Him whose coming brought light and joy to the world.  
Advent: points to His coming again.  He will reap the harvest of believers.  We are victors in Christ.

The question is:
Is everything good between you and the Lord?

"If you have no joy, there is a leak in your Christianity somewhere."
--Billy Sunday

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning


Lin said...

I think happiness and joy take some effort. It does not always come easy--especially when life around you is not swell. Complaining, gossiping, discouragement is too easy a pit to fall into.

I find that I have to consciously make a decision to be happy--to not talk about the bad stuff and gossip about those at work. I'm happier when we focus our conversations on good things that are happening. takes a lot more effort to notice and point out the good stuff.

I've had a lot of nice things lately--and I remembered to thank God for those people when I had a second. I've had a lot of asking for help lately, but I have always been thanking and praising for all of the good as well. It helps the spirit.

vanilla said...

Lin, a thought I had as I listened to the sermon: God can move mountains, and sometimes He does; but it seems to me that more often He will show us a pathway and give us courage and strength to get through the mountains. Focusing on the good things even as we struggle with the difficult is important to happiness. Gratitude and praise to God for our blessings is key. Wishing you a wonderful ten days ahead as Christmas Day approaches!