There are things in this world that will rob us of our happiness. Most of the time, we think that our current circumstances are the greatest threat to our happiness, and so we do all we can to numb the pain we feel. We self medicate through things like ignorance, alcohol, drugs, or food in a feeble attempt to gain our happiness back. As we finish up this series, Pastor Sean talks about how our attempts to relieve the pain often only extend it by bringing about guilt and shame, only to be faced with the same issues when the numbness wears off. So how does the Bible say we should approach the pain and circumstances in our life. And what does God say is the best path for us to take to experience happiness and contentment in the way He designed?
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”
I’m the one who will take care of you.
Can we acknowledge that we may have faulty assumptions about God?
Before we get into how He protects His sheep from wolves/thieves, we need to see who his sheep actually are.
John 10:9, “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.”
John 10:24-28, “The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,”
Protect your happiness by making sure to listen to what God has already said
Jesus said, in John 14, that if you love him, you’ll do what he says
Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Why do we need to listen to the Shepherd, in order to be happy?
John 10:10-16, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.”
We thought the thief was sadness, sexual unfulfillment, loneliness, poverty, sickness, grief.
What should I do when I feel my happiness slipping away?
Get closer to the Shepherd when you feel your happiness slipping away
James 1:2-18, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they [you] will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became [are] his prized possession.”
Every one of us are sheep – we are either stranded sheep or rescued sheep.
His sheep are still hunted by the same thieves and wolves as stranded sheep.
1. What stood out to you from this message and why?
2. What is one thing God is telling you to START doing because of this message?
3. What is one thing God is telling you to STOP doing because of this message?
4. How will this message change how you act at home, work and in the your relationships?