Monday, July 11, 2011

Urban Legends 02: God Wants You To Be Happy

God doesn’t want you happy . . . 
1) When it causes you to sin. 
2) When it is driven by circumstances.
In the pursuit of happiness, the prodigal son became miserable.
3) God wants you blessed
If you pursue happiness, you’ll miss God. 
If you pursue God, you’ll find blessings.

Blessed: Spiritually prosperous— experiencing life-joy and satisfaction through God’s indwelling presence and matchless grace.

How are most people trying to find happiness? 
Name some pursuits (sins) that can create temporary “happiness”, but lead to 
permanent sorrow.

1. Talk about a time when you did the wrong thing because you thought it would make you happy. Complete the following sentence with the first thing that comes to mind: “I would be happier if only . . .” or “I could never be happy if . . .” 
What do your answers reveal about your goals in life? 
How can pursuing happiness lead to misery? 
What is the difference between happiness and joy? 
Are you seeking happiness in externals or a blessed life through your relationship with Christ?

2. How do people attempt to use God for their own gain or profit? (Example: “If I do ___ for God, He will give me what I want.”) 
What is wrong with basing your contentment or happiness on externals? 
What does it mean to be “holy”? To be “blessed”? 
How does being holy lead to a blessed life?

3. How has the pursuit of happiness caused you to miss God? 
How did it lead to sin? 
In what ways are we blessed when we pursue God? (see Psalm 16:11 and John 15:11) 
Why should the awareness of Christ’s presence in us and His promises to us bring us inner joy? 
What has Jesus spoken to you that gave you great joy?

4. Describe a time when your circumstances did not make you happy, but you still experienced God’s blessings. 
How did God bless you, in spite of your less than optimum situation?
The apostle Paul experienced many hardships as he followed Christ. What was the goal or focus of his life (see Phil. 3:8-10, 14)? 
How would pursuing this goal lead to experiencing a blessed life?

1. Have you believed the spiritual myth that God wants you happy? 
Is there 
anything you are doing today, against God’s will, in the pursuit of happiness? 

If so, what attitudes or goals do you need to change in order to pursue God and experience a blessed life?

2. It is easy to get distracted by worldly pursuits. 
How will you stay focused on seeking God’s interests instead of chasing after happiness? How will you demonstrate, to others, God’s perspective of a blessed life?

3. What worldly ideas do you need to reject? 
What promises do you need to believe to experience the blessings that yours in Christ? How will you find your joy in God this week? (see Psalm 16:8-11, 37:4; Phil. 4:4)

1. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-11 and Philippians 4:11-13.
What brings us great gain? 
What does it mean to be content? 
With what are we to be content? 
Why do some think that godliness is a means to financial gain?

What about your life is making it difficult for you to be content? 
What would it take for you to be content in your circumstances?

How can you guard against placing too much stock in your personal possessions or circumstances?

In what types of situations had Paul learned to be content? 
Why was Paul able to handle any kind of circumstance? 
What is the relationship between contentment and a blessed life?

2. Read Matthew 5:3-10 (Amplified version).
Who did Jesus say would experience a blessed life? 
What does it mean to be blessed?
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? How are those who mourn blessed? What will those who hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness receive? What
does it mean to be filled? How are we blessed by having a pure heart? Why would seeing God result in
blessing and joy?
What is the reward for those who are merciful and peacemakers?
 Which of these kingdom attitudes needs to be developed more fully in your life? 
What will that look like?

2 Tim. 4:3-4; 1 Peter 1:15; 3:8-12; Prov.16:25; Eccl. 5:18-20; 2 Cor. 7:9-14; Psalm 16:5-11; 37:4-7; 112:1; Matt. 6:33; John 10:10,15:9-11; Rom. 14:17, 15:13; Eph.1:3-4; 1 Thess. 5:16-18


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