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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - The Best Strategy For Happiness

Steven Furtick - The Best Strategy For Happiness

Steven Furtick - The Best Strategy For Happiness
TOPICS: Happiness

This is an excerpt from: My Joy Is My Job.

I want to learn how to be sitting in something that's unfinished and still be fulfilled. I want to learn how to be able to say, "I've got something to be happy about even though the job's not finished". In the words of that famous hymn writer Bon Jovi, we're halfway there. Whoa-oh. I'm halfway there. Yeah. I've got two wins. So, while Kobe's strategy may be an excellent strategy for sports, it is a bad strategy for happiness. For you to focus on what is unfinished in your life, the unfinished business of your spiritual growth, the underdeveloped areas of your character that still aren't as far along as you wish they were, the unfinished business enterprises that you don't yet know if they're going to turn out good or turn out bad… For you to focus on the unfinished is to diminish the gift of this, this right here, this right now, this breath, this sermon, this moment, this gathering, this praise, this opportunity, this new day, this season, this moment, this person, this relationship, this effort, this breath, this right here.

So, I'm headed somewhere, and I'm excited about it, and I'm working on something, because I'm not complacent, but, O God, teach me to be content while I'm in it. Time travel to the year AD 50 with me. Let's get out of 2009. We're going to party like it's AD 50 in the church today. But first, in order to get to the party, we have to go through the pain. I need to speak to you a little bit today about the danger of postponing joy. Don't let the pressure make you postpone the joy. Isn't that what Kobe was trying to say? "No. I've still got to get us to game… We've got to win four of these, not two, so I can't smile at you right now". And it's a genius press conference strategy for a sound bite. I mean, let's be honest. We're still talking about it today. But it is a horrible way for you to approach raising your kids. "The job's not finished".

When will it be? When do you think it's going to be finished? Do you think you're going to send them off and they're going to be finished? There is a boomerang anointing on your children. They come right back. When will it be finished? "What's there to be happy about? I still don't have a job. I've been looking for four months". But when you get a job, can't you lose it? "Well, see, I'm single right now. When I meet my Boaz, I will be blessed and highly favored". And all the married people said, "Ha, ha"! Unless you marry Holly. Then you will be finally, eternally happy. But she's off the market. The thing about it is if you postpone your joy because of the pressure, you will never give God praise. If you think there is a future date where you will be… Key word. I'm going to teach you for a little bit.

"When I'm free from this and I have more time…" "When I'm free from this and I don't struggle so much…" "When I'm free from this and it's not a temptation anymore…" "When I'm free from this…" Do not shout, "Amen". "When I am free from this relationship…" If you're sitting next to them, go quiet. Just go dark right now. Just look really confused as I preach. "If it wasn't for them, if it wasn't for this…" It would amaze you how many people are waiting to be free from something because they think they're going to feel something when they're free from something. What I have to learn how to do in my life (and I suggest it is the task of all of us who walk by faith and not by sight) is to be free unfinished. To know "Okay. Well, my money isn't where I want it to be, but my marriage is. My marriage isn't where I want it to be, but my relationship with God is growing. My relationship with God isn't where I want it to be, but I'm in church today, Devil. Did you see me show up with my good clothes on, wearing green"?

Come on. Pinch somebody really quick and say, "I just wanted to get one in". Pinch yourself really quick. Some of you need to wake up and realize all of the things God has done. You are sitting there not smiling, not shouting, not celebrating, waiting on something else good to happen. When would be a good time for you to praise him? "I will bless the Lord at all times". All means all. Bless him means bless him. Bless him right now. Bless him, my brother! Bless him, my sister! Bless him, my friend! Bless him! The Bible Bible says the jailer was commanded, "Hey, watch out for these two. Watch out for these guys. They're turning our city upside down. Watch out for them".

That's why the Devil has had you contained. That's why the Devil is trying to constrain you with anxiety. That's why the Devil is trying to press you down with depression: because there's something in you. The attack against you only indicates the potential that is within you. That's all it is. So, what are you going to do about it, Paul? This must have shocked everybody who saw him in those shackles. It's about midnight, the Bible Bible says, which is a bad time. It's a bad time to go out. It's a bad time to be awake if you're in. I want to be in my bed at 9:45 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, every night. It is a product of this stage of my life. As the process of day gives way to the process of night, something very interesting happens.

Now, the jailer was commanded to Paul and Silas as their guard, but the Bible Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 that you are to guard your heart above all else. So, while the jailer is guarding Paul, we see that Paul was apparently guarding Paul too. If at this point he has allowed bitterness to seep into his heart because this isn't fair, and if at this point he has allowed uncertainty to paralyze him, he is not going to do what he does next. The Bible Bible says, "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them". It's a process. When you're going through things in your life and the unfinished business and realizing, "It's a process. I'm a process. Recovery is a process. Wealth building is a process. Holiness is a process. Relational intimacy is a process. Showing up is a process. Staying put is a process. Day is a process. Night is a process".

The birth of day includes the process of the coming of night. At midnight, Paul and Silas started praying and singing. If I could give that guard one word of advice, it would be "You made a mistake, not when you put their feet in the shackles. You made a mistake, not when you put them in the inner cell. That's the most secure part of the prison. I understand you were doing what you were supposed to do". I wouldn't even tell the guard he made a mistake when he went to sleep, because you'll see in just a few verses that he actually was dozed off over there in the corner somewhere. That's fine, too, because their feet were in shackles.

"But the mistake you made was putting them together in the same cell. If you would have kept them in isolation, they would have processed this pain differently. If you would have kept them separated, Paul would have started processing, 'Well, maybe God doesn't want us over here in Europe.' If you would have kept Paul in isolation in his own cell, he would have started processing, 'Why does life have to be so hard for me? God, you got Peter out of prison. You can't keep me out of prison?'"

If he would have kept him in isolation, maybe he would have started comparing it to the last time he preached. Maybe, if he would have kept Paul in isolation, he would have gone into self-pity. Maybe, if he would have kept Silas in isolation, he would have sabotaged, but the Bible Bible says he did one thing wrong. He put them in the cell. The Devil did one thing wrong this morning. He let you get to Elevation Church at 11701 Elevation Point Drive on St. Patrick's Day of 2024. He put you next to somebody who is about to pinch you, look you in the eye, and say, "Wake up! God is with us".

Clap your hands if you know God is with you in the process. I'm speaking over your life. God is with you in the process. God is with you when it's 2-0, when it's 0-2, when it's game four, game five, game six, game seven. God is with me in the post-game analysis, because he's with me in the process. I want to make sure the way you are processing the unfinished places in your life, the way you are processing the imperfect parts of you, the way you are processing the parts of your life that do not match your preference… I want to make sure your process doesn't become your prison.
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