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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - Jealousy And Joy Can't Coexist

Steven Furtick - Jealousy And Joy Can't Coexist

Steven Furtick - Jealousy And Joy Can't Coexist
TOPICS: Jealousy, Joy, Happiness

This is an excerpt from: The Hard Work Of Happiness

There is no formula for happiness that starts with "If I had…" It doesn't come from them. You can be on an island or you can be in the backroom ready to preach to thousands… God has had me on this journey of realizing that my joy is my job. I may never write another book again, but if I did, that would be a great title. My joy is my job. In fact, I kind of want to point at you today and say, "Your joy…" I'm going to make you do it. Look at the person next to you and say, "You can't make me happy". Are they offended? I promise you, if you said that to somebody you live with, they're relieved, because you are heavy. They always have to make you happy.

See, it's not their job description to make you happy. It's not God's either. Look at it. He said, "Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev". The Negev is the southern part of the desert. It doesn't get any drier than that. To have a stream in the Negev only happens in the winter rain season. When the rain comes in the winter season in the Negev, it floods the banks. It'll tear up the bridges. It'll tear up the roads. It'll wipe out the livestock. You have to be ready for the rain when it comes. Some of us are praying for things we haven't built the infrastructure for, and even if God gives it, it will not feel like a gift; it will feel like a burden, because your joy is your job. Not an event, not a promotion, not knowledge, not an amount. Your bank account keeps going closer and closer to that level you thought you would need to feel secure, and you are still scared, because blessedness is not a state of affairs; it is a way of life. We have some work to do, the hard work of happiness.

Look at what it looks like. He said the Lord can do a miracle and send it like streams in the Negev, which is a completely supernatural phenomenon. That's not an ordinary thing. We need to pray, "Lord, restore my joy," but watch what the psalmist instructs us to do. I don't know if you're ready to do this or not. For many years of my life, I wasn't ready to do that, because I was addicted to self-pity. That was my addiction. In fact, one of the most powerful things the Lord ever told me was, "You have let your mood become your master". I read in the Bible about Pharaoh, and the Lord will say, "You have let your feelings become your Pharaoh, telling you when you can go and what you can do and what you can say". When did you get the idea that your feelings are in charge of your obedience to God?

Psalm 126 is a picture not only of what God is going to do… I have a feeling that God is in the process of restoring someone's joy even as I speak, but it won't look like it, because what he said is those who sow with tears will reap with joy. What's that about? I thought we were talking about happiness. But the Bible says that in order to get to that place of happiness that will last… Not to get a high. You can get a high. Hey, if we all want to feel happy, we should have skipped church and met at Krispy Kreme, because we could have gotten happy fast. It's called Hot Now, and it can do it a whole lot quicker than Psalm 126. Oh yeah. I don't need a Bible verse for that. I just need some sugar. I could get happy real quick. There's a better way to get happy than to come do this, but if you want it to last, where the Enemy can't un-smile you 15 seconds after it happened, then we will have to learn the hard work of happiness.

What's that? Sowing with tears. That means faith is in charge, not feelings. I'm sowing with anticipation, even though I'm having a hard time even believing it's possible. I'm getting in this spot. I'm showing up for this task. I was going for a song write the other day, and I didn't feel like going. I started saying out loud, "Good things happen when I show up". Say it out loud. "Good things happen when I show up". Now say, "Nothing good happens when I sleep in". Good things happen when I show up. You keep hiding your talents in the ground. Do you know why you do that? Because you don't really believe God has joy to give you. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, there was a man who had five talents that were given to him. That's like a bag of gold, a measure of money. The one who had five talents to give went out, invested it, and doubled it. It turned into 10. The master was like, "That's good".

Now here's what's crazy. To another he gave two talents. The dude with the two talents had every right to say to the master, according to our human view, "Where are my other three"? Instead of doing that, he realized something that… Well, I think it's a cultural lesson that needs to be spoken. Jealousy is the enemy of joy. I don't need anybody else to tell me I'm blessed. If I have peace and contentment in my heart with God, I am blessed. I love Abbey because it's hard to compliment her. Not because she's insecure. It's the opposite. She's like, "Oh, I know". "You look good today, Abbey". "Oh, I know". I'm like, "Is this good, Lord? Do I need to rein this in a little bit"? It's like, no; I don't want her to need somebody else to tell her what she is. The psalmist said, "Then the nations will say, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'" The psalmist said, "The Lord has done great things for us".

Whether you "like" my post or not, whether you like my car or not, whether you see my value or not, whether you think I'm worth calling back or not, whether you like my ministry or not, whether you think I know God or not, whether you agree with my decision to pull aside and get my heart right or not, whether you want to go the next mile with me or not, the Lord has been good to me. I don't need anybody to tell me that. I already know the joy of the Lord is my strength. I know. So, the next time somebody tells you, "Oh, you're so good at that," you don't have to say it out loud, but let it be the cherry. Don't even let it be the icing, let alone the cake. You need to know in your soul, "God's hand is on me to do what I do, and what I do I do well. Who I am I am fully". "When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy".

When you fill your tongue with praise, it floods your heart with faith, and then you can sow with tears. You can do it regardless of the mood you're in. The man with the two talents turned his two into four. The master called him back, and he said (this is Matthew 25), "You entrusted me with two bags. I have gained two more". For all of y'all who think God is like your most cantankerous relative at the family reunion, look at the next verse, what Jesus said God is like. "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'" "Huh? Wait a minute. The other guy with five gave you ten. I only gave you four. Aren't you disappointed in me"? "No, no, no. I only hold you responsible for what I gave you".

I just set you free from a lot of misery right there, didn't I? You wish you were a little bit taller. You wish you were a baller, and you're not. My biceps will never look like that. God gave me different fibers. I'm doing good with my fibers. I'm going to maximize my fibers. It's something we're so surprised to find in the Bible. We think we have to go somewhere else for this. We think we come to God for holy and go to the world for happy. Look at what the master said. When you do what God gave you to do… "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master's happiness". You mean God is happy? That's good news!

A lot of Christians are tiptoeing around church like, "Dad is in a bad mood again". A lot of us are running around like the older son in the Prodigal story, saying, "I'm slaving for you, God. Okay. I'll do it. No one notices". You weren't supposed to do it to be noticed to begin with. God knows, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you openly. I just want to teach you today that to really get to this place you've been praying about, it's going to take some new patterns. Sometimes that will mean I am crying while I am carrying. It means I will take the seed with me into my day, and I will sow it in contradiction and defiance to every dry place in my life. Do you want to do the work or do you want to wait on the faith fairy to put peace under your pillow? How in the world am I going to pray about something, like, "God, give me my joy back," if I am not willing to sow into the very thing I am asking for?
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