# Blessing China 2 : The Be Happy Attitudes: "I'm Really Hurting - But I'm Going to Bounce Bac ( 24 August 08)

The Message

By: Dr. Robert A Schuller

Special Guest

 Mr. Robert Tsoi

Special Music

O For a Faith that Will Not Shrink
He Keeps Me Singing
Joyful, Joyful.

Glorious Everlasting" by Don Neuen, Chris Pardini and the Cathedral Choir
Daniel Mcgrew - In This Very Room

The Message

Well my father and I are in the process of going through a series of messages on the Be Happy Attitudes. Because I'm convinced that God wants us to be happy and that's the message of Jesus' message from the very beginning. His greatest sermon that He ever preached says, "Blessed. Blessed. Blessed. Blessed. Blessed. Blessed. And blessed."


Anyone here care to have a blessing this morning? You want to feel the blessings from God you're at the right place. Because I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wants us to feel His blessings today. And yet there's times where it becomes very difficult for us to comprehend that God really wants to bless us. I mean we look at the news and just this past week you have the horrific fire in Rhode Island, and before that you had the stampeded in Chicago and before that you have this space shuttle and we could go on and on and on and on and on.


And we look at life around us and we hear the reports of cancer and we hear the reports of other fatal diseases and we see the tragedies that take place in this world today and it's easy to be discouraged. But then we hear these words of Jesus. These incredible, powerful words.


"blessed are those who mourn."


And He's not talking just about those who have a period of sadness for a little while. You know the word in Greek is actually "kontheo," which means the ultimate form of grief. There's about 9 different stages of grief that they have in the New Testament. They have words for every one of these different stages of grief, depending upon whether it's just "I stubbed my toe and I'm grieving my toe," to "someone very dear has passed and my heart is broken."


Well this form is the very deepest form of grief. In fact, Richard Trench who wrote the synopsis of the New Testament put it this way.


"It is to grieve with the grief which so takes possession of the whole being that it cannot be hid."


The grief Jesus is talking about is that heart wrenching, gut twisting horror that takes place when we see evil and we see tragedy, or we feel something ripped from our hands, something precious and dear, and we feel that pain.
I'll never forget the grief that I experienced in this congregation in July of 2002. Just a few months ago this cathedral was packed. Packed with thousands of people grieving. People came from all over this county, they couldn't even get in the cathedral, they were lined outside the windows and they're peering through the windows trying to see, trying to participate. Because this county was grieving the death of a 5 year old child, was abducted, molested, killed and thrown on the side of the street, Samantha Runnion. And people cried and they grieved and Jesus says,


"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."


We have the promise that we are blessed, that we can be happy, that God is comforting us. But the question still resounds and people still ask the question, why? Why God do You allow the fires to burn? Why God do You allow the stampedes to take place? Why God do You allow cancer to prevail? Why God do You allow AIDS to continue to be spread? Why God do You allow this and allow that?

And more often than not I believe we're not really asking a question. As much as we're arguing with our creator. I know I get into that with my kids. I have 2 teenagers. And this is a lesson that anyone can use with kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, children or employees or anything of the like. We have a new thing, a technique that we use with our kids. Well it isn't that new. We've been doing it for about ten years. When I ask our kids to do something and they don't want to do it, they'll generally ask why. You need to be home at 11:00 tonight. Why? And we usually don't address the why question. And we say give me a good reason is their next response. Give me a good reason. And with that I respond very calmly and I say well what reason would be good enough? What reason would be good enough? And they hate that. They're stuck because either they have to come up with a good enough reason in which case they won't be able to stay out after 11:00, or they have to confess to the fact that they're really trying to get in an argument. Because more often than not the why question isn't really asking for an answer, as much as it is picking an argument and a fight with God.


The grief process begins with denial where it didn't really happen. But I think that is fairly short lived before one realizes that yes I did lose a spouse, yes my father is gone, yes my mother is gone, yes my brother is gone, yes my sister is gone. My spouse, my job whatever it might be. And the reality sets in. And when the reality sets in, the anger sets in. And we start asking those questions, why God? Why do You allow these things to happen? And it's an argument.


And we have to ask how is it possible that when we mourn like this we find the blessings that God is talking about? Does Jesus have any idea what He's saying?


There's one passage in the Bible specifically where this same word of grief is referred to as Jesus. So that Jesus felt the same kind of grief that you and I felt. It's an account of Jesus with his best friend. His best friend was a man named Lazarus. And Lazarus became sick. And Mary and Martha were sent to fetch him and they came and they said, "Jesus, your best friend Lazarus is sick. But you come, if you hurry you can place your hands on him and you can heal him." And Jesus didn't come right away, waited a few days and by the time he got there the news was shared with him that Lazarus had died. And the Bible says specifically, let me read it to you.


"When Jesus saw the weeping of the women and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping he was deeply moved. He was moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him?' he asked. Come and see, Lord,' they replied.

And Jesus wept." He wept.
"Then the Jews said, 'see how he loved him.'"


Jesus felt the grief that we have felt. He has felt the horror and the troubles of grief. But through the grief process we discover that grief can be turned into a tremendous powerful source of producing within us the spirit, the strength and the ability to do what God has called us to do. And so Jesus performed a miracle. And he called out and he said, "Lazarus, come forth." And Lazarus came out of the tomb, was brought back to life and then Jesus gave us these words, he said, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."


And today some of us are still wrapped in the grave clothes of our sorrow and our grief and haven't gone through the stages. And haven't reached that stage of acceptance where we receive the comfort of Jesus Christ. We might be stuck in the anger where you're still angry with God. You might be stuck in the sorrow where you haven't come out of the grief. Today it's time to take the grave clothes off. And to enter the blessings of God and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and to turn your grief into action. The word comfort actually is a word which is referred to of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God is known as the comforter. And that Holy Spirit of God when He comes and He enters our hearts, He comes and He takes those negatives, those minuses in our lives, and He turns it into a plus and it is a cross of Jesus Christ. And that cross comes and gives us the incredible power to feel the strength and the courage and the ability to overcome the struggles and the pain and to feel the blessings of God so that we can say I am blessed. Through it all I am blessed. Through the pain, I am blessed.


Dear God thank You for the pain. Acceptance. Not until we can say thank You God, have we entered the realm of acceptance. And when we do, something happens in our lives. The comforter comes and strengthens and encourages and turns that into a form of action so that we have that ability to bounce back and do something and use that grief and use that pain to do something great for God.


A dear friend of mine, the honorable Collene Campbell was a guest here in the pulpit some time ago. In fact if you want to listen to some of her interview, you can on our website at hour of power dot org. We have many of our previous guests on our website and you can check the interview we had with her as well as other interviews. And she has experienced pain like few people have. It has been said that nothing hurts more than the loss of a child. And her son was brutally murdered. He was thrown out of an airplane. Killed. Her brother, Mickey Thompson and his wife, were both gunned down in their driveway. Murdered. Killed. And Collene has moved through the stages of anger and sorrow to acceptance. Because what happens when we move into the area of acceptance is we move into the area of action. And we do something positive. We take the minus sign and we turn it into a plus sign and today she is using her skills and her ability and her connections to create laws and pass bills that will help the victims as much as the victimizers.


I'm really hurting, but I'm going to bounce back.


I've experienced pain, Lord, but through Your holy spirit, I will overcome the pain.


And I will move forward with faith and I will say those words God is blessing me.


"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."


Dear Heavenly Father we thank You that You are comforting every single one of us this very moment with Your holy spirit. That that holy spirit is an energy source that moves us and drives us into action. And so as we take our pain and we turn it into good, we do so with thanksgiving in our hearts. So give us the courage, O Lord, to face the struggles and the challenges. To face the pain and the circumstances that hold us back. And so may we turn the negatives into the pluses. We thank You God and we praise Your name, Amen.

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