This is the first podcast I have ever listened to by Greg Surratt. I have been hearing so many good things about his church, Seacoast, and I was not disappointed. I love his style of preaching and I will definitely visit his church if I am ever in South Carolina.
This sermon is the first in a series of sermons about the Book of Philippians. Philippians talks about joy more than any other book of the Bible. He started this series out by naming the three major differences between joy and happiness.
1. Happiness is about what happens to you.
Joy is what is produced in you.
I love that. Have you ever heard a person claim they are not happy? All the time. The problem is you can only stay happy as long as your circumstances are good. As soon as your circumstances are bad, you are no longer happy. But, joy is something deep inside of you placed by the Holy Spirit. It is something which is developed over time. It is easy to be unhappy but it takes a lot more for someone to steal your joy.
Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,"
When you are a joyful person it is the result of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you. Greg stated, "As I give control of my life to the Holy Spirit, the seeds begin to grow inside of me." Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
2. Happiness is insecure.
Joy is secure.
Greg stated, "The list of what it takes to make me happy is always increasing."
Then, he said this, "Today's contentment becomes the source of tomorrow's complaining."
I love that. What we are contented with today will become the thing that irritates us tomorrow. But when we have joy, it is consistent. It is an ever-growing reality. He said that in order for joy to increase we need to "get to know God more." How do we do that? Spend more time praying, reading the Bible and going to church.
Then as we know God better, when we are faced with a decision to make; instead of asking yourself if it will make you happy, you will be asking yourself, "Will this honor God?" Your happiness becomes secondary. Your joy is secure in God.
Greg said, "The more I yield my life to God, joy comes. The more I cultivate joy, the more I can experience God's peace in time of uncertainty.
3. Happiness is defined by facts.
Joy is defined by truth.
I loved this part because I never thought of happiness and joy this way before. He stated, "If the facts are favorable, happiness increases. But, the facts don't always convey the truth.
He used Abraham as an example. God told Abraham he was going to be the father of many nations when he was 75 years old. At the age of 100, he still did not have any children.
Romans 4:20 - "yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waiver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God."
Abraham did not live by the facts. He believed in God's truth. The truth was that God was going to make him the father of many nations.
Romans 8:28 - "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
That verse is our truth. A doctor's report is a fact - it is not the truth. Someone should have told Sarah she was too old to have children. But, the truth was she had a child when she was 90 years old. Our faith should be based on the truth, not facts.
He ended his sermon by giving some truths to live by:
Philippians 4:19 - "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
James 5:14 - "Is anyone among you sick? Then, he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, annointing him with oil in the name of Lord;"
James 5:15 - "and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him."
1 Corinthians 2:9 - "but just as it is written, 'things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him."
Colossians 3:2 - "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."