pain

Secret #2 for finding joy in your life.

How can I find joy?

Suffering, pain, challenges, trials, difficulties: these are present in all our lives at one time or another. Most of us also spend a lot of time worrying about how to prevent these things from happening...even though they will no matter what we do.

But what if I told you that there is a way to find joy and see good things happen as a result of these situations?

Text to Read: Philippians 1:12-30 NLT

Some key points from this message:

Paul's situation isn't great, but he is allowing it to be used for Jesus Christ, thus bringing purpose and joy into it.

When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.

Your attitude in the situation will impact the effect it has on you and those around you.

Paul's joyful attitude positively impacted the palace guard and other believers (vv. 12-14), but what would have happened if he had a downcast or bitter attitude instead?

The key for Paul was his understanding that it is the spread of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus' sacrifice for humanity, that truly matters (vv. 15-18).

Give your situation to Jesus and trust that he will use it to make a difference.

Paul doesn't talk about how he's going to deliver himself or how he's doing great things. He talks about how the Church's prayers and the Spirit of Jesus will lead to his deliverance. Paul understands that where he is powerless, God is powerful, thus he talks about his deliverance in passive rather than active terms (vv. 19-21). God will use the situation to do something for his glory and the spread of the Gospel.

When Jesus is where your significance is found, you can stand strong and rejoice no matter what comes (vv. 22-30).

A note on joy:

Joy is a fruit made up of faith, hope, love, contentment, and gratitude.

We can find meaning and joy in our situation when we allow it to be used to glorify Jesus.

Action Step:

  • Ask your closest friend what motivates you the most. If their answer is not “Jesus does,” ask the Holy Spirit of God to change your motives.

Prefer to watch or listen to the whole thing? You can do so below:

Hope...In a World Divided

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Follow along with sermon notes in
Youversion.

In this chaotic world filled with vastly differing opinions and so much pain, what is a Christ-follower to do? Is there any hope in a world like this? Guest speaker Paul Koenderman shares.

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A Prayer for Every Situation: Prayers of Lament

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Follow along with sermon notes in Youversion.

Pastor Stephen shares openly about his struggle with depression and the importance of learning to pray prayers of lament in this week's Sunday morning message.

We want to hear from you...yes, you! Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments!

It's Okay to Grieve

grief, hope, peace, comfort, death, prayer

I recently lost a friend and colleague, and it seems that many others have lost friends and loved ones this year. It hurts to see a person you care about pass away; your heart may ache and you may wonder why they had to go. Sometimes the grief is overwhelming, possibly even turning to anger: anger at yourself, anger at the departed, anger at the world, or even anger at God. In those moments, one may begin to feel ashamed for their grief or pain. Others may try to bottle it up and move on with life. However, the story of Jesus Christ’s friend, named Lazarus, offers help in these times. This story can be found in the Bible, in the book of John chapter 11. Here we learn that it is good to grieve and that there is hope available to us. Jesus arrived on the scene after Lazarus was dead, but he knew something no one else did: he was going to bring Lazarus back to life! Yet here he was, surrounded by people mourning and wailing and telling him that everything would have been different if he had just arrived sooner—then he could have healed Lazarus before he died. As Jesus sees the pain that sin—humanity’s rebellion against Creator God—and death has caused, even he begins to weep. In all this, do you know what is missing? There is not even a hint of Jesus condemning these people’s grief. Jesus does not condemn grieving; it is good and healthy to take time to mourn your loss.

Still, we need not feel hopeless in our grief. Jesus told Lazarus’ sister, Martha, that he is the resurrection and the life. In other words, he came to win the defeat death by dying in your place. All people have sinned and their relationship with the Most High God has been broken. That broken relationship has killed every person’s soul—there is no more life there—and it opened the door to physical death. The problem? There is nothing any human can do to fix that relationship. But Jesus did. He was both fully God and fully human, and when he died on the cross and three days later rose again, he offered all people eternal life.

[tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags="true"]Jesus doesn't condemn grieving; it's good & healthy to take time to mourn loss.[/tweetthis]

Now all you have to do is believe in your heart in the name and work of Jesus and make him master of your life. Then, God’s Holy Spirit will come to dwell within you and will bring life to your soul--life now and life for eternity—and one day, Jesus will return and your living soul will receive a new and perfect body that will never deteriorate or pass away. Truly, there is great hope in Jesus, the resurrection and the life!

pastorstephen
pastorstephen

--Pastor Stephen 

Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you, so leave your comments below!

If you need to meet with Pastor Stephen, please schedule an appointment here: Make an appointment.

This article first appeared in the Pincher Creek Echo.