#281 (15/04/07)
Finding Happiness from the Inside Out Part I

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

LAURIE BETH JONES
She is the author of, “Jesus CEO,” a national best selling leadership-training book with Jesus Christ as the ultimate model. Very significant. Lots of people are trying to put Jesus down, but He is coming to be seen more and more as an unbelievable leader. Since that time, Miss Jones has become one of the worlds leading consultants for businesses wanting to take their work to upper and unparallel levels of performance, satisfaction and success. Her books have been best sellers on the Business Week list and the Wall Street Journal list. They have been translated into fourteen languages with worldwide sales of well over a million copies.

Special Music

Hymn
" Joyful, Joyful.."
" A Mighty Fortress is Our God "
" Christ be Beside Me "

Anthem
" My Hope is Built on Nothing Less "
" Open Our Eyes "

Solo
SARA GROVES – “Something Has Changed”
EGLE JANULEVICIUTE – “Tocatta (Pour le Piano)”
EGLE JANULEVICIUTE – “Italian Concerto, Movement 1”

The Message

Well I’m going to be sharing with for the next few weeks some lessons and some understanding about happiness. Finding happiness from the inside out.

I have a hobby. Anyone here have any hobbies? I have a very strange hobby, my first hobby is actually marlin fishing. Its one of my first loves after my wife of course and my kids and the church and all those other things, its marlin fishing. And so if I can work it into something I'm doing, I try to do that. For instance, my wife and I spent the last two weeks in Australia and New Zealand. And what we were doing there is every single night we were speaking to a group of people who watch the Hour of Power and we were in an airport every single day and a different hotel every single night. That’s a lot of packing and unpacking. On Tuesday, we decided to take a break and we went fishing, marlin fishing and we caught absolutely nothing. Zippo. No exciting stories to tell you, what I can tell you is I loved it because I learned more about marlin fishing. What I learned is that the stripped marlin, there’s lots of different marlin, I could go on all day talking to you about marlin cause I know all about marlin. Striped marlin specifically. There’s four kinds of marlin but this is just the striped marlin.

I wanted to fish in New Zealand because the striped marlin in New Zealand are much bigger than all of the striped marlin around here and in Mexico. They’re almost twice the size. So I wanted to learn more and the only way I could learn more, I looked on the internet, I tried to find everything I could. The only way I could find more was to go and talk to someone who fished marlin in New Zealand. Well guess what? Fisherman in New Zealand are not on the internet telling all about what they do. They’re not available by phone; they’re out on their boats fishing. So the only way you can find out what about those fish is to charter a boat, get on the boat, sit up next to them as they’re driving the boat and talk to them about the marlin. And that’s what I did. And Donna was bored to death.

If we have a love for something, you can never know too much about it and there’s always some new horizon about that topic that you want to know more about. Why do you think there are four or five magazines on every.. on golf, that people buy every single month and they read from cover to cover. Why do they have magazines on home and garden? Why do they have magazines on fashion? Why do they have magazines on, name the topic? Dogs, oh not dogs they get very specific, the type of dog. It’s because we thirst of things we love. And the same thing is true with our relationship with God. As we learn more about Him, we learn more about ourselves.

Jon Calvin and his institutes which he wrote over 500 years ago, his first question, the first paragraph that he addresses, basically states that in order to come to know God, you have to come to know yourself and as you come to know yourself, you come to know God, so either one leads to the other. Happiness comes from the inside out. And the question is, how do we find this happiness; where does it come from?

There was a letter that St. Paul wrote years and years and years ago, it’s found in the Bible, in the New Testament. Tiny little book, its only four chapters, its called Philippians. It’s known as the happy book in the Bible because there’s 16 references in that one four chapter book of joy and happiness and rejoicing and different derivatives from it, 16 of them. And so we’ve discovered that the keys to success and happiness are found within this book. And it’s a fascinating thing to realize that, golly, 27 years ago I was ordained, that’s a long time. And when I first got, when I was first ordained my father gave me a medallion, a gold medallion and on that medallion was engraved three Bible verses and one of the Bible verses on there was Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this one thing, that God who began a good work in you, will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” What a great verse that is, being confident. Being confident in this one thing that God and how in the world people can find happiness without an understanding of God is totally beyond me. I can’t figure it out.

I was talking with a friend of mine he’s an MD, and he said you know I was raised in a quasi-Christian home where you’re supposed to be Christians but my dad would beat me once in a while and I was really embarrassed in the house I was raised in and we’d go to church once in a while and that was about the extent of it. So we were Christians by name and reputation only, cause we were born and raised in a community where everyone was Christian, so if you’re a Christian, of course you’re a Christian.

He goes then I went to college and med school and by the time I was about done with med school, God was not part of my language at all. I didn’t have any faith. My institutional training had taught me the rules of science, and science was my god. And then I had a professor ask me a profound question. The question simply was, “how does your heart tick?” “How does your heart tick?” and he says I could go and I could tell you exactly how the heart worked but I couldn’t begin to tell you how it ticked. To this day I can’t answer that question how a heart beats. And he said it totally revolutionized my whole philosophy and understanding of life. Suddenly God had to be real, He was the source, He was the power, there is such a thing as a miracle of life, it’s a beating heart.

Today this man is probably the most contented man I know, and it starts with God. And God created this body and this soul that we have to work meticulously. You know we’ve now mapped out the entire genetics of the body and every single cell in our body contains all the DNA, to do everything that it needs to do. And so every single cell in your body holds a genetic key called 33 KDA. That’s the gene. We all have it. If you didn’t have it, you’d be dead. You cannot live without 33 KDA. What 33 KDA does is it tells the cells when to switch on and off. It tells the DNA when to work and when not to work, and it’s vitally important for us to have this genetic code because other wise when you cut your finger, it would not heal. The blood would not clot because the DNA would not be turned on to say, oh I have to clot up now, and without that DNA code, the minute you pricked your finger, you would bleed to death. You would never get well and you would die. We all have it. It was given to us by God, an on and off switch.
And we have an on and off switch in our minds. The on and off switch is the ability to be able to make the decisions of life. God’s given us that so we have the ability to go through life and make the decision whether or not we want to be happy.

My wife gave me a devotion that she read in belief.net, its one of her daily devotionals. And it’s such a great devotional, I'm going to read it a minute, it will only take a minute. A 92 year old petite, well poised and proud lady who was fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably done and make up perfectly appointed even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung in her window. “I love it!” she stated, with the enthusiasm of an eight year old having just been presented with a new puppy.

Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room, just wait. “Oh that doesn’t have anything to do with it” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time, whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged. It’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice. I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficultly I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift and as long as my eyes are open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life, old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from it what you’ve put it. So my advice to you would be, deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.
We make the decisions. We make the decisions whether or not.. we want to be happy or we don’t want to be happy. God has given them to us. “Being confident of this, that God who has begun a good work in you will carry it to completion.” We look at our lives and we come to the realization that God will help us carry everything to completion. That’s our job. Our job is to just keep on keeping on. God is the one who carries it to completion.

The greatest speech ever delivered was delivered by Winston Churchill. Hitler was bombing London daily, the people were depressed. His charge was to motivate and inspire and uplift a nation that was on their knees, living in cellars, being bombed every night by a horrible, evil enemy. Now what was he going to say? What do you say a situation like that? And Winston Churchill gave us the words we’ll remember, “Never give up!” he said. “Never, never, never give up!” And he sat down. Eight words; the greatest sermon, the greatest message, the greatest inspiration that that nation needed when they needed it and he gave it to them, “Never give up.”

And that’s our on and off switch that we have to realize that we can control. We don’t have to give up and if we just keep on keeping on, as my father has said many times, then God will carry it to completion. Our job is to wake up in the morning, realize that God is blessing us and to just keep on keeping on, “never give up, never, never, never give up!” “Being confident of this thing, that God who has begun a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Jesus Christ, until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Let me conclude by giving you and we’ll recite actually the five simple rules of happiness. Repeat after me: Free your heart from hatred. (AUDIENCE: free your heart from hatred) Free your mind from worries. (AUDIENCE: free your mind from worries) Live simply. (AUDIENCE: live simply) Give more. (AUDIENCE: give more) Expect less (AUDIENCE: expect less)
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You are a God who performs miracles every minute of every day and so as You’re performing miracles within our lives, give us the freedom to be able to release our worries and our hatreds to You. Give us the confidence and the assurance to live simply, to give more and expect less. And so we thank You for giving us happiness from the inside out. We love You Lord. Amen.


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