Be of Good Cheer

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Philippians 4:4-13


I.         It is easy to look at the bad side of things

            A.        Some people seem to only see the bad side of things

                        1.         No matter what happens, it has a dark side

                        2.         These people seem to be only grumpy and miserable

                        3.         Their only pleasure seems to be getting others to agree things are bad

            B.        It is easy to see the problems in life

                        1.         At my brother's wedding, many things when wrong

                                    a.         His father-in-law tripped on the bridal trail

                                    b.         Grandma sat on the wrong row (on purpose)

                        2.         But two people just joined their lives together! Something beautiful happened!

II.        Depression happens to many people

            A.        Moses couldn't take the people's complaints any more - Numbers 11:11-17

                        1.         Solution: share the burden with others. Don't take on the responsibilities all by yourself.

            B.        Joshua after the defeat at Ai - Joshua 7:7-11

                        1.         In our despair we often blame the wrong person

                        2.         We don't see the situation clearly

            C.        Elijah after Jezebel threaten to kill him - I Kings 19:4,14

                        1.         Elijah had given up and became immobile

                        2.         Solution: I Kings 19:15-18 - Get busy; there is work to do!

            D.        Some become anxious. They are locked on seeing disaster

                        1.         Proverbs 12:25 - The solution is to point out the good

III.       Cheerfulness is something you can learn

            A.        Read "The Deacon's Thanksgiving"

            B.        We need to think cheery thoughts. We need to find the good in every situation.

            C.        Proverbs 15:13 - A cheery heart brings smiles. What is inside is reflected on the outside.

                        1.         Smile now, don't wait for it to bubble out

                        2.         Smiles are "contagious" for others and yourself as well

                        3.         If you want friends, you must be friendly

                                    a.         “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NJKV)

            D.        Proverbs 17:22 - A cheerful heart is good medicine. People tend to become ill when sad or nervous. People with a good outlook heal quicker.

            E.        Even our Lord encouraged Paul to be of good cheer while in prison - Acts 23:11. Good was going to come from this bad situation.

            F.        Even in hard times, we have God on our side - Philippians 4:12-13

IV.      Learn to look for the bright side

            A.        Remember the song "Count Your Many Blessings"

            B.        Psalms 68:19 - God loads us down with blessings everyday. Have you noticed the ones he gave you yesterday? Pay careful attention today!

            C.        Hold on to hope - Psalms 42:11; 43:5

            D.        Bad times do not last - Psalms 30:5

                        Drinking From My Saucer by John Paul Moore (1970)

                        I’ve never made a fortune, and it’s probably too late now.

                        But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow.

                        And as I go along life’s way, I’m reaping better than I sowed.

                        I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.

                        Haven’t got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going’s tough –

                        But I’ve got loving ones all around me, and that makes me rich enough.

                        I thank God for His blessings, and the mercies He’s bestowed.

                        I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.

                        I remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin.

                        But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again.

                        So Lord, help me not gripe about the tough rows I’ve hoed.

                        I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.

                        If God gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough

                        I’ll not ask for other blessings; I’m already blessed enough.

                        And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads.

                        Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.


            E.        Proverbs 15:15 - A merry heart brings a continual feast

                        Smile, brother, smile;

                        When you smile another smiles,

                        And soon there's miles and miles

                        Of smiles, and life's worth while

                        Because you smile;

                        So smile, brother, smile

                                                            - Author Unknown -


V.        Happiness comes from righteous living

            A.        The righteous are to sing for joy - Psalms 33:1

            B.        Of course, God expects something from us first - Malachi 3:8-12

            C.        Psalms 71:23 - Salvation is a time of joy

            D.        Blessings on the just - Proverbs 10:6

            E.        Keep always in mind Philippians 4:4-9

The Deacon's Thanksgiving

Old Deacon Bedell was the cheeriest man you'd meet with in many a day;

He 'lowed that the Lord had a pretty good plan for running the world, and he'd say:

"I'm thankful that things are about as they are - they could be a mighty sight wuss;

An' the things we've complained of the loudest so far have proved to be blessin's to us."

When other lamented the drought, he'd reply: "It's better than havin' a flood,

An' we ought to thank God when the weather is dry that we don't have to waller in mud!"

Yet, when it was stormy he'd never complain, but say with immutable trust:

"The Lord in His goodness has sent us the rain to lay this discomfortin' dust."

When adversity smote him, it fell like the dew on a mountain's impervious crest,

For his simple philosophy held to the view that everything worked for the best

And for other's misfortunes he always could find such sweet consolation to give,

It seemed that he envied the halt and the blind, the lives they were destined to live.

One day he was caught in a threshing machine; it cost him a leg, but he said:

"That's getting off cheaper than some I have seen, I'm thankful it wasn't my head!"

And always thereafter he stumped on a peg, or patiently went with a crutch,

Declaring: "I'm saving a lot on that leg - My socks only cost half as much."

When his end was approaching, he said with a smile, as they folded his hands on his breast:

"I've worked pretty hard a considerable while, and I'm thankful to get a good rest."

So, he went through the world strewing smiles on his way, and the neighbors surviving him tell

That, no matter what happened, it seemed every day was Thanksgiving to Ezra Bedell.

- Author Unknown

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