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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1047

Happiness and Joy

October 28, 2012

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1047 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Phil Enlow: Everything about happiness and its pursuit is based on things that will change, do change, constantly change. You can never depend upon something in this world. If you are depending on something in this world to make you happy, you are wasting your time. You’re gonna live a life of frustration. But oh I’ll tell you, when He comes in, there is a source of joy. You notice the Fruits of the Spirit are love…what’s the next one?

( congregational response ).

Joy. Praise God! “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (KJV). God wants to build this reservoir of reality down here where we absolutely, in the midst of the worst thing that ever happened to us, we can still say, Lord, I’m crying and I’m hurting and I need Your help, but I’m rejoicing because I know what’s going on. I know whom I have believed. I know it…I know my sins are gone! My hope is not built upon anything that I’m dealing with here, it’s because Jesus died for me and my hope is in Him today! My hope is in Your promises, the promises of a God who cannot lie! And oh Lord, I just rejoice in that.

That’s what the Lord’s joy is about. Folks, we need that right now. I sense a need in my own spirit. It wasn’t just reading what Jim wrote, but it was just the thoughts the Lord was quickening to me that were personal that just touched me right where I am. How easily do we fall into the traps of self-pity. Oh God, are you mad at me? God, why aren’t You making me happy?

That’s not God’s job. God’s job is not to make us happy. I’ll tell you, you rejoice in the Lord and you’re gonna have a lot more happiness to go along with it. But God has not promised you and me that we’re gonna always have the sun shining and roses blooming and all that stuff. We’re gonna have a lot of things to contend with down here. But I’ll tell you, there’s’ a joy in the midst of it.

( congregational amens ).

You think of Jesus…and how often have we referred to the scripture where it says, “…For the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (NIV). Oh that cross was not a fun thing. It was a…there’s nothing worse that has ever happened on this planet. No greater suffering, no greater…but oh, He was so…there was something…He had just yielded His vessel completely to the Father’s will and plan. And so there was in Him that reservoir of joy and what was gonna happen because of what He was doing. He knew there was meaning to it. He knew it wasn’t just wasted time.

How many of us waste time in our lives just stewing over this and stewing over that? But what He did was…when you’re given to the Lord, everything has meaning—everything in your life has meaning, if it’s only an opportunity to say, Lord, I praise You in the midst of this. I know that You’re putting something to death in me that I need to be cut loose from, so I’m free to rejoice in You! Praise God!

I don’t know, I needed that. You know, sometimes you’re tired…your circumstances are such that you’re just not on a very high plane. And it’s not that God is…necessarily that a Christian has to live in this sense of exhilaration all the time. That’s not what it’s about. That’s what a lot of people try to work up. And they think, oh I’m full of the joy of the Lord. No, you just got excited.

But the Lord wants us to have this thing that just whelms up in our heart when we think about Him, and we come in and worship and we can put aside things that have been bothering us, and we can just rejoice, and say, oh God, it doesn’t matter. God, I have a hope! God, I have an Anchor for my soul! I have something that You have made real in my heart! I’m gonna take my hope, I’m gonna take my sense of well-being from the reality of what you have promised that does not change! It’s a hope that’s reserved in heaven for me! Praise God!

Now I’m probably gonna get excited here in a minute, but that’s all right. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good. But if you’re dependent upon feeling good for your sense of well-being, you are in for a rough ride in life. Oh, I pray that God will help us, because I want Him to…you know, there’s a part of me that says…

( groaning ).

…But I want Him to search my heart. I want Him to look inside. I want Him to bring to light the things that are dragging me down and holding me back. That’s me…that’s the fellow that’s got to die—got to be willing to let go of all these things. But if the devil piles it on and just heaps on condemnation and a sense of, ‘how could God love me,’ and a sense of self-pity, I’m missing it.

God wants me to look up and say, oh God, You love me enough—You love me enough to tell me the truth. And it’s because You have something so much better that You’ve done this. You’ve done it out of a heart that’s full of love. And I have a right to the same joy…because I have the same Spirit, I have a right to the same joy even in spite of all this, that You have!

It’s mine. I don’t have to sit there and wallow and try to earn my way back into His favor by hanging my head and all of that. Yes, there’s a time and there’s a place to repent. But folks, we can put these things aside and stand tall in the presence of the Lord and just give Him praise and rejoice in His joy. Boy, I’ll tell you, we don’t want people coming in here and saying…’look at all those people, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.’

( laughter ).

‘Nobody knows but Jesus. Oh, if they just only knew.’ Lord have mercy! Well, under the circumstances…that’s the problem! You’re under the circumstances. God wants us to be over the circumstances! Not that we don’t have to go through some real things! But God has made a provision where we don’t have to be dragged through the mud by the things that happen to us. We can still lift up our hearts up and rejoice in the Lord.

You know, we sang the song this morning about Paul and Silas. And that’s where it gets down to us as Christians. You know, if you don’t know the Lord, that’s your priority. You need to seek Him until He comes in, and then you have a source of joy. You don’t have to work something up. God is there. His joy will become your joy when you yield to Him.

But the thing is, as Christians, we often get in a place where we get geared to the wrong thing! And God is wanting to break us loose, and that’s why He says in the scriptures to ‘rejoice.’ Rejoice is a choice that we make to draw upon the joy that He has given us and absolutely focus our hearts on His promises and His goodness and His purpose and the certainty of everything He’s given to us, rather than these other things.

And I’ll tell you, if we’re gonna do that in this world, we’re gonna have to go against, we’re gonna have to be willing to not look at the winds and the waves, and not look at the path that He takes us, not sit there and complain…well, what about them, and 1001 things that we do in our little pity parties, and our resentments and all that. And then expecting people around us to soothe…to stroke our feathers just right. Or, by God, we’re entitled to be angry.

No you’re not. God wants to set us free from that kind of stuff. Folks, we have a choice every single day to look at the promises and the hope that God has given to us and to rejoice in it, or to give in to the attempts of the enemy to steal that joy from our experience.

And I felt a need myself last night, I just praise God for touching my heart. I need this just as much as you do. I’m…I was gonna say, as human as you are, I was gonna say, more, but I guess we’re all the same, aren’t we? Oh, we need the Lord, don’t we?

But what He has given to us, you could go through the Scriptures, but I just thought of one Scripture in particular, in 1st Peter. Some of you probably thought of it. While you’re tuning there, I’ll just refer to one thing that Paul said in, I think it’s in 1st Corinthians 6. He’s enumerating for the believers there all the stuff that he’s gone through for the sake of the ministry and for the sake of ministering to them. And it was a long list of trials and difficulties. But one little phrase he says in the middle sounds like it’s a contradiction. He says, “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing…” (NIV).

Now that sounds crazy. How can you be sorrowful and rejoicing at the same time? I’ll tell you, up here in the realm of our emotions, we can encounter a lot of things that will bring sorrow to our hearts. Didn’t Jesus?

( congregational response ).

Jesus was full of joy! Do you remember when the disciples came back and they were rejoicing and spirits had been subject to them, and Jesus says, don’t rejoice in that, “…Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

( congregational amens ).

And when they came back and reported, it said His heart was just full of joy. He could see the hand of God beginning to go out and work and touch people’s lives, and it just filled him with joy. And yet, He was a man or sorrows, wasn’t He?

So, you’ve got these two things going on…the ability of deal with life. It’s not that we are in this bubble to the extent that nothing touches us, we never feel anything. That’s not it at all. We can be in the presence of things that are terrible, and yet because of this anchor of God’s joy, we can deal with that, because it doesn’t have to suck us into that black hole of anger and despair and frustration and all the things that it does to the people of the world! We’ve got something that holds us! God can equip us to deal with life in a real way, and yet still be able to rejoice and give Him praise, and know that it’s gonna be okay because our life is in His hands.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit….”

That’s God working in your heart to set you apart from everybody else. God has worked in your heart or you wouldn’t have thought about coming to God. You better rejoice over truth like this. If God has given you any inclination to serve Him, you better just cry out in thankfulness and say, oh God, yes! I respond.

“…The sanctifying work of the Spirit…” for what purpose? “…For obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood.” That’s the only way we get rid of the sins that separate us from our God.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth.…” I’ll tell you, the new birth isn’t something you earn, something you work up and qualify for, it’s something we just surrender and say, oh God, I see what You’ve done. You’ve made known to me Your promise and Your hope, and I take hold of that with all of my heart, Lord. I surrender into Your hands. I’ll tell you, there’s a God who has the power to plant a brand new life in you. It’s a real birth.

“…Into a living hope.…” So it’s not just a beginning, but there is something that is ongoing. It is a hope that absolutely we possess through this life. And we need to live in the light of this. That’s what this is about.

“Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Every once in a while, I’ll read about some atheist decides he’s gonna…who made this decision…he’s gonna debunk Christianity once and for all. And he’ll set himself to prove once and for all that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Man, if I can do that…I’m sick and tired of this Christianity stuff, this Jesus stuff. I want to get rid of it. This is how I can do it. And he’ll study and he’ll study and he’ll study all the writings and all the history, and he winds up believing it.

( laughter ).

How many times has that happened in history? God has absolutely used that to bring someone to faith. And they realize, hey, it takes an awful lot of faith to believe it didn’t happen. It takes a whole lot more faith to believe it didn’t happen than it did. Jesus was raised from the dead! It’s a historical fact!

Praise God! We’ve got something to shout about this morning! We’re on solid ground here. This isn’t just some religious doctrine that somebody has come up with! This is based upon Someone who entered our world and gave His life for us and then rose as the Conqueror of death and hell and the grave! Everything that is against us was conquered once and for all in Him. Folks, if we’re in Him, that becomes ours. That victory is ours. Praise God!

All right, it’s, “…A living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into…” Now he’s looking ahead. “…Into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” Have you got anything like that here? No, but his is what has got God’s heart—this is what His heart is about. I’ve got something for you. It will never spoil, fade or perish.

“…Kept in heaven for you…” That sounds like it’s out of the devil’s reach, doesn’t it? “…Who through…” Now who is this for? “Who through faith are shielded by…” Our strength and our ability…no, wait a minute. “…Shielded by God’s power…” Folks, we commit ourselves into His hands, we’ve got divine power at work in our lives! We need to believe it, we need to yield ourselves to it, desire it, and rejoice in it.

“…Shielded by God’s power…” How long? “…Until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” Oh, I’ll tell you, what a day that’s gonna be when all of sudden this truly is over and Jesus comes. It’s finally the time. I don’t know when that’s gonna happen. I don’t care. That’s God’s business. I know it is as certain as if it had already happened.

I’ll tell you, when Jesus appears in glory, so will His own. We will instantly…we who know Him will instantly be changed. We’ll have the same kind of body that Jesus had. And not only that, the glory of God will fill us. Oh, I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t want to be one of the people of this world who didn’t know Him on that day and they look and they realize…oh my God, there’s those Christians that I made such fun of. I mocked them for their belief in that God, and there they are. Their feet aren’t even on the ground any more. They’re there looking down and I know that it’s too late, and there’s no hope. Oh God, that day’s coming—that day’s coming. We need to be ready. But I’ll tell you, what a thing to look forward to.

( congregational response ).

Whether we go by way of the grave, or whether our feet leave the ground because He comes during our lifetime…man, that is as sure as if has already happened. It’s ready! Ready! That’s a pretty good word, isn’t it? This isn’t something God’s trying…last minute scrambling around, emergency session, and let’s try to pull this thing together. This is ready! It’s all sitting there! It’s just a matter of, okay it’s time. Here it is. The finishing of My plan, it’s ready to go. All that’s lacking is to be revealed! It’s not like it’s not there. You just have to pull the curtain back and say, here it is. It’s done! Praise God!

All right. “In this you greatly rejoice…” Well up to now that sounds pretty great. You know, why not? Sure! Hey…bring it on! That’s awesome truth! Oh, isn’t that wonderful? “…Though…” Whoops! “In this you greatly rejoice, though…” Now you’ve got something that’s kind of…stands in opposition to this, in spite of—in spite of this other reality, in spite of having to live life here, you rejoice. “…Though now for a little while…” And it is a little while. “…You may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” And then he begins to give you the purpose of all of that. He says, “These have come so that your faith…” Where did you get your faith?

( congregational response ).

If you’ve got any faith, where did it come from? God gave it to you. That’s where real saving faith comes from. God has to give it to us. We do not possess it. But I’ll tell you, when we have opened our hearts and received that gift, there is a power in there, there is a reality in there. God is gonna do what it takes to perfect that.

( congregational amens ).

To purify it, to make it the dominant influence in our lives, where we’re people of faith in Him, not taking our cues from the world around us and from our circumstances. “These have come so that your faith.…” But you know, when we receive it, it becomes our faith, doesn’t it? Even though it didn’t originate with us, it becomes ours. Do you possess that today? That’s the most wonderful thing that you possibly could have, and that’s what he says here.

“…Your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Folks, we need a divine perspective on our life and our circumstances. And I’ll tell you, when we need it most, many times, is when God is really turning up the heat because He’s wanting to bring deliverances and changes in our lives.

You know, in the natural I would love for there to be some experience. We could just have you come down here and lay our hands on your heads and everything would go away, and you would simply be in Canaan Land, spiritually speaking. All the giants would be gone. There would be no more battles. You would just simple float along. But it doesn’t happen that way. If we are going to be changed, and be changed into the image of His Son, God is going to have to do some major heart operations in us.

That does not happen through sunshine and cotton candy kinds of days, necessarily. I’m glad the Lord doesn’t constantly…you know, it isn’t constant. But I’ll tell you, there is a God who can take us safely through every circumstance that He ordains for our lives. And if you’re in a place right now where you’re looking to God and God has turned up the heat, and God is allowing things to happen, and they’re bubbling up to the surface, don’t you be discouraged. God loves you right now! He sees those circumstances, He ordained them! And He ordained them because there’s something He put in you that can never be destroyed. It can only be purified.

But oh, in the midst of it, hasn’t He still given us His joy? But you know, if our minds are so geared to the bad stuff, and all the implications the devil tries to rouse in our minds, we’re gonna miss a lot of the joy God has for us. How many times does it say in the New Testament, particularly, these things have I written to you, or I told you, why? So that your joy may be full. I want you to understand, the Lord is saying, I want you to get it. I want you to understand what the real picture as I see it, because if you really get that you are gonna be full of My joy. You’re gonna share that and it’s gonna carry you through the hard places of life. Praise God!

“Though you have not seen him, you love him.” Now Peter’s writing to people here who did not encounter Jesus when He was on earth. You didn’t see Him, but you love Him. Why? Because God worked in your heart, you’ve been born of His Spirit. “Even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.…”

I’ll tell you, do you have the joy of the Lord this morning? You can. So can I. It’s what we choose. You can choose to be a ‘pickle juice Christian’ if you want to, but you’re gonna be miserable for no good reason. And people are gonna look at you and say, boy, I sure don’t want what they have. But I’ll tell you, if we can be full of the real joy of the Lord, not just some worked up exhilaration, not something happy, happy, ‘don’t worry, be happy’ kind of stuff, but something that is real, that’s been given us from God, and we choose to allow that to control how we see what happens in our lives and all these ups and downs that we all go through.

I’ll tell you, we’re gonna have an anchor that’s gonna carry us through. And we’re gonna discover God is filling us with a joy. And there will be times when you will be weeping. There will be times when you’ll be battling. There will be times of prayer that’s anguish—full of anguish, but oh underneath it, the engine that drives that is the love…it’s the joy of the Lord in what that is accomplishing. I’ll tell you, if we see it the way God sees it. Oh, there’s such a joy that just drives us to do what is right and to act according to faith, and to act in accordance with what He’s promised. And I’ll you, we have a God who is gonna make it happen. Praise God!

Well, I don’t know whether anything needs to be added, at least by me. Some others may have testimonies, may have something that they want to add to this. But I’ll tell you, we have been given an inexpressible gift in what God has given to us. If you’re a Christian who’s full of joy and you’re really enjoying what God has given to you, I’ll tell you, there’s gonna be people who will be attracted to you.

And it won’t be to you, it’ll be the Christ that’s in you. Isn’t that what we want? Don’t we want people to come in here and say, man, I want what they have! I know what they’re going through and yet they’re able to see, and to praise God and to rejoice in it, and He’s giving them strength. I want what they have.

I’ll tell you, that’s what we need. If we’re not experiencing that, why not? Why not? Do you think it’s not for you? Do you think you haven’t earned it? What’s the reason? Or are we just happier in our misery? Do we just feel entitled to our misery? God help us—God help us to make the choices to absolutely be willing to do what the Scripture says and rejoice in the Lord.

And Paul says, “…And again I say, Rejoice.” (KJV). There must have been a reason why he said that. He understood human nature. The Lord’s not looking down with a condemning heart, but He sure does want us to share His joy. You know, Peggy quoted the scripture the other night from Zephaniah 3:17 about the Lord, in the midst of being mighty and mighty to save. But one of the things he says is, He rejoices over you with joy. He joys over you with singing.

And here we are complaining. And the Lord’s up there just singing with joy about us! Well, I don’t think He’s rejoicing in your complaining, or mine. But I’ll tell you, He is rejoicing in what’s coming and what He’s doing and the certainty of it. If you’re gonna attach your well-being to the uncertainties of life, you’re gonna have a miserable life. But we can have a life that is brimming with the joy, the supernatural joy of the Lord, if we will attach all of our sentiments, all of our faith to the reality of the unchangeable and complete work that Christ has done for us.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God!

( congregational amens ).