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May 24, 2020 | Buster Brown

The Fight for Happiness

1 Peter 1:8-9

"Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."  1 Peter 1:8-9

We are to rejoice with great joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.  In order to do this, we must “fight” in the daily battle as we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

1. We must daily remind ourselves of the goodness of God who lives in the happy land of the Trinity.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

“What is true happiness, where does it come from, and how do we find it?  According to the Bible, true happiness begins and ends with God.  In the beginning, God’s Trinitarian happiness overflowed into a universe of delights.  In the gospel, God gladly owned our poverty (2 Corinthians 8:9) and misery in order to make us happy again in him.  Now, by his Spirit, God himself dwells within his people sharing his happiness freely and causing us to rejoice in him.”  Scott Swain, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

2. Perspective is determined by our focus.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

3. We must do what happy people do.

“if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11

4. We daily embrace and give thanks for the good gifts of creation.

5. We say, “Yes”, to trusting God and walking in his way by limiting media input.  We should be aware of cultural issues, sorrows, and needs without being consumed by them.  (We must fight the default normality of negativity that is endemic to our culture.)

QUESTIONS

  1. Consider the following quote, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9) denotes the utterly undeserved, royally free, effective, unwavering, inexhaustible, good will of God, active in and through Jesus Christ, God’s effective overflowing mercy.”  (Cranfield)  How does the grace of the cross welcome us into the all-satisfying presence of the Living God?

  2. Why did Martin Luther say that man is “curved in upon himself”? What breaks this pattern? (Answer: Faith and repentance in the light of the cross.)

  3. What do happy people do according to Arther Brooks in, “Gross National Happiness”?

  4. What are some of the good gifts of God (James 1:17) from yesterday?

  5. How can you limit the “normality of negativity” from impacting you?

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