Have a Wonderful and Blessed Day!!! Happiness Is A Choice!!!
Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Philippians 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
Here we find the great apostle Paul in prison in Rome. Remember prison in that day and today would be totally different. No Televison, no Three meals aday, NO PRISONER RIGHTS!!!He was kept in shakels all day everyday. The guards kept eyes on the prisoners all day long
This guard had complete responsibility for the prisoner. He or another guard would be with the prisoner 24/7. And if the prisoner were to somehow escape, the guard was responsible and could actually lose his life. So he would do everything possible to keep up with Paul because his life depended on it. I can imagine this was more than a nuisance to Paul, to be changed to this guard, every move he would make, this guy was with him and it was all a constant reminder that Paul’s life was in danger and that at any moment he could be executed.
Paul knew something that many of us still need to learn today. So listen up. Happiness is not based on circumstances. In fact, happiness is a choice.
Life is a whole lot about perspective. Spectacle. How you see something. Attitude. About making the right choices. In fact, Chuck Swindoll says, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% is how I react to what happens”.
• We are in charge of our choices
• we are in charge of our attitudes
• we are in charge of our happiness
Paul shows us here that there are several things we must realize if we are to move forward in this journey toward happiness.
(1) Verses 20-22. For me to live is Christ. We must focus on things that last. Paul was in a difficult/precarious situation. Hard-pressed, caught between a rock and a hard place. It is the picture of walking between two walls of rock and the walls are so close together there is not even room to turn around. Paul is equally drawn to two things here, both of which are important and he doesn’t want to turn down either one. He is kind of stuck. We get that way don’t we? Many times it is because we do not truly know what we want. And because we don’t know what we want we don’t know where to get it. The Apostle Paul has a choice to make.
Paul says that one possibility is to remain here and the other possibility is his death, his departure into heaven. And the language he uses here in the Greek comes right out of his vocation as a tent maker. That’s how Paul earned a living. If you’ve been camping before you know there is a time when you set up your tent and there is of course a time we take it down and move on. For Paul this was like picking up your tent and moving somewhere else. No big deal. Just leaving the campsite and moving to another one. The benefit of course to Paul was that he would be instantly with the Lord in heaven.
Paul spells this out in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8:
2Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
So to die for Paul would not be a tragedy-in fact it would be a blessing. He would be released from all the difficulties of this life and would immediately be in the presence of Christ. Now there is a truth here that I want to pause and make sure you get hold of and that is this…
Happiness is a choice. If you do not have it, it is no one else’s fault. It is because you have chosen otherwise.
Everything in life is not about us. It’s not all about you. It’s not all about me. Paul refers to this as our citizenship. He says we are, in effect, citizens of two countries. This earth. This world and heaven. Paul completely understood this.
Paul was in a situation where it appears that he was being called upon to make an incredible choice. Do I choose to remain here with you or do I choose to go on to heaven to be with the father? And he was saying, I don’t know which one to choose. Paul knew that at any moment he could be executed. In many ways, he knew/felt that his work was almost done. Eventually he would say to Timothy, I have finished the race. There is the crown of righteousness for me.
2Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
2Ti mothy4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2Timothy 4:9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
But Paul said I’m between a rock and a hard place and not sure what to do. He said I am pressured by both. There’s a balance and we shouldn’t be so quick to choose going home. There’s work to do here. You see citizens have a job. And part of that is to make life better for those around us. The other citizens. To make decisions that benefit people other than ourselves. Remember, everything in life is not about us. And doing something for others can often create happiness.
Get some perspective in life and learn to choose the things that really matter. too many times our goals and our actions are not really related. We desire something yet our work doesn’t reflect it. We think happiness is going to come knocking on our door and all we have to do is open the door. We think the right person is going to come along and then everything will be just fine. We go on dating websites and think we will find the perfect person when in fact the perfect person doesn’t exist anyway. We will never find happiness in a thing or in a possession or in a person. We will find happiness when we commit our lives to Christ. Put Him first in every decision we make and make sure our actions in life are matched with our goals in life. Otherwise we are going to constantly be disappointed.
So we then determine, hey I have some priorities now and so I am going to add them. Guess what, no room. So all of these things continue to take up our time and attention and these things…the things that really matter, the things that really count. They get tossed aside. So what can we do? The secret is to start over. Empty these things out. Get rid of some things that are wasting time for you. Get rid of some things are dragging you down, that require too much time and attention. Learn to put Jesus first in everything and you will see an amazing difference. Put priorities in first. Jesus, Bible study, the things that matter that will last. Jesus said seek ye first the kingdom of God an all these things will be added unto you. Many of them will take care of themselves.
Who and what are first in your life. Whoever or whatever is first in life for you is what you worship. And if it’s not Jesus, guess what? You’re in trouble and you are on a path that will lead nowhere.
Happiness I believe begins with a choice. A choice to give our lives to Jesus Christ. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. You must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and showed he was God by coming back to life. If you believe that then you are almost there. Accept Him as your own personal Savior. You need to accept God’s free forgiveness for your sin. Switch to God’s plan for your life. Throw away your plan and take hold of God’s. That means you’re going to say, “I’m no longer going to do what I want to do. I’m going to live the plan God made me for. I want to know God’s purpose for life and from now on God’s going to call the shots, not me.”
THEN TRULY LIVE FOR HIM, IT IS NOT ABOUT OURSELVES….
SEARCH ME O’GOD
Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.
I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.
Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.
O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.
Love and Prayers