# Blessing China 1 : The Be Happy Attitude I Need Help – I Can't Do It Alone! ( 17 August 08)

The Message

By: Dr. Robert A Schuller

Special Guest

 Miss Sammi Cheng

Special Music

Joyful, Joyful...
God is My Strong Salvation
O For a Faith that Will Not Shrink

The Prayer By Daniel Rodriguez & Izzy
The Lord is My Light" and "The Marv'lous Work (the Creation)" by Crystal Cathedral Choir
I'll Walk With God" by Daniel Rodriguez

The Message

I am so blessed that I am able to look at America and see the spirit of the American people. I love the spirit in America. I really do. When I look at the history of America, I know why we have the courageous spirit we have. I look at the forefathers who came here, fleeing persecution in Europe, and desiring freedom of religion. And so they crowded into tiny little boats. They called them ships, but they really weren't ships ... they were boats.


They set sail across a massive ocean to America, to their "promised land." The truth ... it was a wilderness, filled with huge bears, mountains and unfriendly people. It was a tough time, but they stayed and they established the colonies. They were Americans. Yes, they had the "I can" spirit. And the American pioneers continued in that same "I can" spirit as they moved across the plains, all the way to the west coast of this great country. This is America! Today we still see that pioneering spirit as it is passed on through the generations. It is the entrepreneurial spirit of "I can." We, who are Americans, are so grounded and rooted with the understanding that, "I can stand on my own two feet." "I can conquer my demons." "I can overcome the obstacles of the world."


Today, as we look at the first Beatitude of Jesus Christ, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:13) ... we can quickly assume that this seems like a contrast to that "I can" spirit.


It is the same spirit that St. Paul taught to the church at Philippi - the Christian Spirit:


"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)


Last night at dinner with my family, I turned to my 15 year old son, Anthony, "Tomorrow I'm preaching on the Be Happy Attitude, the first Beatitude of Jesus Christ. You know it ... 'Blessed are the poor in spirit ....' Do you know what that means?"


I saw his mental wheels turning, as his face became a big question mark. Then he answered, "Well, Dad, in Galatians 5:22-23, it says, 'The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control' ... so doesn't God want us to have those things? 'Poor in spirit?' I don't know, Dad, you're the preacher!"


"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

(Matthew 5:3)


What in the world does Jesus Christ mean, "poor in spirit?" The Beatitudes - of which this is the first, are incredible words with which Jesus establishes the foundation of His entire ministry. These words are the beginning of what is known as the greatest sermon ever preached; Jesus is standing on this beautiful hillside of Galilee, on the north shore of this lake. He sees before Him a huge crowd of people who have come to hear Him. Does He mean He wants them to be spiritually void? Poverty stricken, spiritually?


I don't believe God for a minute wants us to be spiritually poor. It doesn't jive with everything else in scripture. Rather, I believe that when Jesus is saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit...." He means for us to have humility of the heart. A humble spirit to be able to realize that we are human, and in our humanity we cannot succeed and inherit the Kingdom of God on our own. We need the Almighty hand of God to come and save us ... to lift us up. We need Jesus to bring us into that beautiful relationship with God. It is nothing we can earn.


Blessed are the poor in Spirit ...
"I need help - I can't do it alone!"


No matter how hard we work, no matter how hard we try, there is nothing we can accomplish on our own. We have to acquire that humility of spirit to be able to say those words, "I need help. I cannot do it on my own."


After I graduated from college, I came back to California to enter seminary, hoping I could find a "wilderness" like Michigan had. I had discovered the beauty of the wide spaces of open country during my four college years there. I would hunt and fish and I would spend time out in Michigan's "wilderness" enjoying the peace and quiet that God had created there.


However, when I returned to California. I couldn't find a wilderness. All I could see was house after house after house. You know what I'm talking about. I said, "Where is the wilderness?" And then I found it! It's called the Pacific Ocean. When you get out far from shore, there's nobody there, only ocean as far as the eye can see and it is so quiet with only the waves splashing the side of the boat. So, not long after I came to California I discovered I could also fish for larger fish than in Michigan. Then I was surprised to hear that some fisherman had caught huge, 200 pound marlin in our local waters off the coast of Southern California. I never knew that.


When I discovered that, I decided I'm going to catch one of those magnificent fish. If they are here, I'm going to catch one! Fishing has always been one of my hobbies. So I went out on the ocean every time I could manage a day fishing ... knowing one of these days I would succeed. I did that for three years. But guess how many fish I caught? ... Zero ... I had that "I can do it" spirit. I know I can. That was the positive attitude that I was raised with ... just keep on keepin' on!


Finally, I realized I needed help. That made the difference. So I hired an expert on catching marlin. He knew the most likely places in our local water where they would be. He took me fishing only one day and ... guess what? We caught one and we lost another one ... that's 1-1/2 fish on the first day!


"I need help - I can't do it alone!"


"Blessed are the poor in spirit ..." - It is the humble heart which is willing to say "I can't ... I need help."

When we look at recovery in America today, we see the tragedy of people who are striving to overcome their addiction ... whatever it may be ... alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, etc. And the first step in recovery for every person who wishes to find healing is that they must realize the first step is ... "I need help ... I can't do it alone."


"Blessed are the poor in spirit ..."


MaRisa Stevens today, is 32 years old and has two beautiful children, but she was raised in an extremely dysfunctional home. By the time she was 14 she became addicted to eating any and all the food she craved, and to keep a slender appearance, she would purge. She was addicted to the eating disorder, bulimia anorexia. By the time she was 16, she was hospitalized because she weighed only eighty pounds. Her body was so emaciated by the time she was 19, she was on the edge of death and admitted to a hospital with a mental breakdown. Her electrolyte imbalance and her mineral depletion was to the point where her body was starting to implode. She was dying. She suffered with this disease for ten years. She said, "Every time I would purge myself I would say this is the last time."


Some of you know what she is talking about. You have a drink and you say, "This is the last time." Or you have that joint and you say, "This is the last time." Or you snort the coke and say, "This is the last time." That's what MaRisa said every single time ... until something happened. She discovered these powerful words:


"I can't, but Jesus can!"


MaRisa discovered the healing power of Jesus. No more deception! No more lies! MaRisa found freedom from her addiction! It was a spiritual freedom that came in her humility, "Blessed are the poor in spirit ..." "I can't do it alone, I need help."


Blessed are we who realize that ... (1) we need help ... then (2) ask for help ... and (3) we allow people to help us! It is absolutely amazing how our lives are transformed. The goals and dreams and aspirations we have for ourselves are realized and the truth of the reality of these words of Jesus Christ come true.

Today MaRisa Stevens is speaking and helping other young girls who are dealing with this incredible, horrible disease, helping them find the freedom and healing through Jesus Christ.


Blessed are those who humble themselves enough to ask for help.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit ..."


If you are struggling with an addiction today and you have been saying, "That's the last time" ... and now you've done it again, we have support groups here to help you because our Cathedral family is a fellowship of believers who want to help you.


I invite you to e-mail me at drschuller@crystalcathedral.org or write to me to seek some help or call New Hope ... dial

(714) N-E-W - H-O-P-E. We have ways to get you in touch with the right people so that you can break the chain of that addiction and find healing and hope today, because God has a beautiful plan of joy and goodness for you.


"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" ... Today you need to be able to realize that there is no way in a million years that you alone are ever going to earn your way ... work your way ... or figure out some snazzy way to get into the Kingdom of Heaven on your own. It won't happen. The only way it is ever going to happen is if you become poor in spirit and humble yourselves before Jesus Christ. Dare to say, "Dear Jesus, I need You." And Jesus will come and He will fill the voids in your life and He will bring healing, hope and a renewed spirit.


I invite you to pray and to allow the Spirit of God to give you the blessings of Almighty God, Himself, and to give you that beautiful promise of His Kingdom. Will you do that with me? He wants you to conquer and defeat that demon, that lie, and experience the presence of Jesus.


Dear Jesus, I thank You that You are here with me right now, that You are listening to my heart, You are hearing my cry for help. You realize I can't do it on my own. I've tried and tried, and I've tried again. And, dear Jesus, I know there is no way I'll ever enter the Kingdom of Heaven by myself. I need help. I need You. And so, Jesus, forgive me of my sins. Cleanse my soul and my spirit. Renew me with Your presence, Your peace and Your love. You have promised that if I ask, I will receive ... if I seek, I will find ... and if I knock, the door will be opened. I know now this is true. This is real. Today I have inherited the Kingdom of Heaven! Thank You, Jesus! You are my happiness. Amen.

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