Steven Furtick — Cheer Up Check Up
I want to confess to you that I am really good at giving this advice, especially on a stage. But taking this advice seems to be a little bit more challenging. No, I'm serious. I give the best advice. I really do. I do. I do. This is what I do. I give the best advice. I am so good at helping others see that the cup is not half empty, it is really half full. Tharseo.
Until I get a little thirsty. Then that cup doesn't look as full. It's easy to say the cup is half full when you're standing under a waterfall. But let me get in a desert for a minute. Then all of a sudden, I don't see the same. You know, it's easy for me to tell people these little clich of wisdom.
You know, look on the bright side. You still got your health. You don't have your job, but you got your health. Look on the bright side. That's easy for me to say while I'm standing in the sunshine. But let me have a cold, dark, dreary day, and let's see if I can find the bright side that I've so aptly pointed others to.
You ever notice this: how easy it is to give a prognosis for somebody else's problem? You know what's harder? Here's what's harder. Here's what's harder. It's hard to write a prescription for your own pain. It's the most difficult thing in the world to follow the advice that you've given. To do what you know. To put into practice what you're yelling at your kids about.
How do you write a prescription for your own pain? How do you analyze your own agony? And so what we do we get in so much pain, and we either don't feel anything, and we want to feel something, or we feel so much, and we want to feel nothing, and so we start just popping pills. Just popping pills.
One time when Holly was in high school, she had her wisdom teeth taken out, and she was allergic to the medicine, the pain medicine, so the doctor told her she could just take Motrin. She could take up to three Motrin every three hours. She took a bottle of Motrin in a week. But the only thing about it was she didn't have her wisdom teeth, so she wasn't eating while she was taking the Motrin. And so what she did was she felt better for a minute, but she created an internal problem.
And the next time she went back to the doctor, she had a bigger problem than wisdom teeth. She had bleeding stomach ulcers. She could have died from that. She was killing herself on the inside to solve a problem that was relatively external in nature.
I wonder, are you doing the same thing spiritually in some areas of your life today? What we do is, we want any kind of cheer. So anybody or anything that makes me feel better, I'll take it. But see, when you're not eating, when you're not nourished spiritually, when you're depressed like the sailors in Acts 27, you can't take that stuff on an empty stomach.
So now you're taking something to cure your pain that's really tearing up your insides. You're creating more problems than you're solving, writing a prescription for your own pain. Taking a whole bottle of something just to feel something, and never realizing that on the inside, you're bleeding. And so we go for the quick hit. The bad cheer. The bad cheer. The kind of cheer that feels good for a moment and brings you crashing down so hard you despise yourself.
So we go for that web site. So we go for those images. So we start shopping with money that we don't have on credit cards that we hid from our husband. If I'm talking about you, just look at the screen, and no one will know. It's your business. But I'm just telling you, you are creating a worse problem than you are solving just to feel something. And we call it cute names.
Retail therapy. But when the therapy is causing you to have more issues, is it really therapeutic? Only Jesus can bring a correct prognosis. See, because He's a good doctor. In fact, the scriptures call Him the great physician. Not just a good doctor. How many of you want a good doctor? Ok, that's great. But if the one who made you didn't even have to scan you to know what was wrong with you, that would be a good thing. That's what Jesus is. The doctor is in.
And I was thinking about this thing. You know, what makes a good doctor isn't that he always tells you what you want to hear. Boy, I just love my doctor. He never says anything negative. It's amazing. I mean, I had cancer for months. He didn't even bring it up. He said you're going to have trouble in this world. It's going to get dark.
There is a storm on the way. You're going to be scattered sometimes. You're going to wake up some mornings and feel set against yourself. But Tharseo. Be of good cheer. When the winds and the waves start to rage, you only need to know that I have already overcome what's coming over you. God, that's pretty preaching. I have already overcome. Be of good cheer. Lift up your head. Open your eyes. Good cheer. Say it out loud. Good cheer.
Not that circumstantial stuff. We can buy it and sell it for a dime. Don't need it. The world can offer tips to be happier. Techniques to be happier. But Jesus said, I want to give you some truth so you'll have a good cheer. A good cheer in a bad situation. Jesus looked at a man one time who was lying paralyzed on a mat. The man couldn't move. Jesus looked at him, Matthew 9:2. He said son, be of good cheer. What? It would have been one thing had Jesus said be of good cheer after He healed the man, which He eventually did, and the man got up and walked. But He didn't say it once the man was off his mat. He said it while the man was still lying paralyzed.
Why? Because I don't want your cheer to be in your situational improvement. I want your cheer to be tethered to truth. That even when it's dark, there's something shining on the inside. Be of good cheer. Be of good cheer. Not that temporary fix that comes from eating too much. Makes you feel better for a moment. And then the moment you're having to unbutton your pants and undo your belt buckle.
You're already regretting every Dorito. I don't want that for you. Not that drinking three glasses, and four glasses, and five glasses and, "Oh, I can handle it." But you're really just numbing yourself and missing moments that you could enjoy with all of your senses. Not that complaining stuff where you feel better about yourself for a minute by bringing somebody else down or by talking bad about somebody else.
Not that social media stuff where you're checking, "Do I have 17 likes yet?" Not that TV washing over you for four hours a night. Not that starting stuff and not finishing. And not that just going off and venting. I want a good cheer. I want Tharseo. I want courage and comfort that never runs out. I want that stuff that has no expiration date. I want that stuff that works on Friday and Saturday, not just Sunday morning. I want that Monday morning stuff. I want that my boss is a jerk, but I still got a smile stuff. I want that still standing, going through Hell, water in the boat, but joy in my heart good cheer.
High five three people. Tell them, "We got the good stuff today." And so how do you check it? How do you check it? A good physician has to give a proper prognosis. He said you're going to have trouble. That's the forecasting of the probable cause. He has to give a good diagnosis. Tell me what's caused it. The prognosis is what is it going to do? But then that's only part of it. A good physician, a great physician would have to give a good prescription.
And God said, the problem with you is you've been going on Web MD spiritually, trying to figure out what's wrong with you. And the reason you can't write a prescription for your own pain and you can advise other people so well is because when you're advising them, you have something that you lack once you start hurting. And that's called perspective. Pain causes you to lose your perspective. Pain causes you to OD on stuff that you know better than to touch. You know what else pain causes you to do? It causes you to treat the wrong areas. I'll never forget.
I went to go get a massage one time. I was preaching. I went to go get a message because I do that. And I went to go get a massage, and the lady was like... I said, my back's hurting. And then she told me, "Alright," she said, "but it's really not your back. It's your neck." I said "No, woman. It's right there in my upper back." She said it's called referral pain. She said where you feel the pain is not necessarily where the pain originated. So I can work on that area if you want me to. But if you really want this to feel better, not just while you're on my table but after you get up off my table, we have to go to the place where the pain is coming from.
And, you know, there are times in our lives where we're treating, and discarding, and dealing with symptoms of pain. Referral pain. Treating the wrong areas. Trying to fix stuff that really isn't broken. What's broken is often something within us. What's broken is our heart, and it leaks into the issues of our life. And so Jesus said, I want to fix what's really wrong today. But if you go on, and you start searching for it, you're going to start thinking that it's worse than it really is, or it's better than it really is, or it's different than it really is. Only the one who made you can really diagnose you. And so what we need today is a divine diagnosis. And the Lord wants to teach us how to do this in the very few moments that I have left remaining.