How to Be Happy When You’re Hurting

Understanding How To Find Happiness In Tough Times

James Greer
Oct 16, 2022    28m
No one ever said life would be easy. However, there's something that can make it all worth it: we can all find happiness in tough times. This week, Brother James talks about an unexpected secret to happiness that can help you find joy even in the darkest of moments. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:00] There's at least four things you get if you learn to stretch your feet. Number one, you get a supernatural energy. Talks about 1 Corinthians, you get a special endowment of supernatural. Number two, you get a supernatural power to be on fire for Christ. Number three, you get a supernatural answer to prayer. Samson He prayed and God gave him water right out of the ground. And number four, you're going to learn about the day you get a supernatural happiness while you're hurting, which is very seldom preached about in the church today. But if you're not stretching your faith, you're straining your face with drains, your faith and you could be saved, but you're not experiencing the power and the presence of God. You're not experiencing the answered prayers that God has for you. You know, we've had Daring Faith and ask you to do at least four things. And you can invite people, you can pray for the loss, but you can ask God to do miracles in your life. And, you know, very seldom I realize that I've ever asked God to do miracles. Most of the time when I'm praying, I've always prayed for other people. But here in the last few weeks, one or two time man, I just begged God for miracles and God did it. And it was almost like, Wow. And then I was asking God, I was praying again. And he did it again. It was almost like it shocked me that God answered my prayers.

James Greer: [00:01:25] And so one thing I found out you have not because you ask that. So be asking God to do something great in your life. So the title of message today is Dare to be Happy while You're Hurting. And when you think of that as how can you be happy while you're hurting? And what does the Bible say about being happy while you're hurting? Well, the Bible tells us many things about being happy while we're hurting. Naturally, you're not going to be happy if you've lost a loved one. Jesus wept, you know, when he lost love. I'm not going to be happy if this box. Falls on my head. But I'll be happy if you take some of the boxes in the back and fill them up. But the Bible does have a lot of things to say when we're supposed to be happy that we either don't know about or we don't apply. Or maybe both. Many times when we get upset, we need to stop and see why we're upset. And if we need to apply God's principles to it, we're going to talk about it in a little while. Is. How we get upset maybe when people make fun of us. But first, I want to read Matthew 5:9. It says Happy, say happy, Happy are those who strive for peace. Amen. Don't you love it to be around people that strive for peace? I mean, there are some people it doesn't matter.

James Greer: [00:02:45] It seems like the marriage to the home, the office, the church, the office at work. I mean, they just I mean, if there's peace, they just start trouble. If you want to be happier, strive for peace. For their call, the Sons of God happier. Those who are persecuted. When you read persecuted, also keep in mind, hurt. Because they're doing good. I can tell you, if you're serving God and you're doing right, you're going to be hurt in the ministry. Eventually people are going to do something. They're going to say. In fact, I'd go so far. I'll tell you later if you have never been hurt. For serving God and doing what's right. He probably hadn't been in the ministry very long for the Kingdom of Heaven is. Is theirs happier. Those that revolve revile you say things about you, make fun of, you say hurtful things, persecute you, hurt you, they lie about you. If you've never been lied about, you never done anything because you're a follower. Wonderful. I mean, God, just saying. It's unbelievable. Happy be. Be happy about it. Be very glad for just tremendous rewards Await you in Heaven. The problem is, wait until you get there. But and remember your ancestors, the prophet, they persecuted them also. My question is, I just wonder the last time you were happy about being treated bad for Jesus Christ. Some of you say never.

James Greer: [00:04:24] That would bother me as well. Some of you would say, I've never been hurt, I've never been persecuted. I nobody's ever made fun of me for being a Christian. That should bother you as well. Because if you've never been bothered and never been made fun of or never been hurt for being a Christian, you're either not serving him like you should or you're not living the right type of life because people will lie about you, because you're a follower and you're doing the right thing. People talk about Journey Church all the time. In fact, in fact, when they're not, I worry. I had a staff meeting the other day, said, I'm worried. They said, How come? I said, Because people aren't talking bad about us. I mean, when we when we put in the trampoline park, if you all just read all the Facebook page, they're just trying to make kids or hire kids or whatever it is for kids or, you know, get them to come, we're trying to reach them for the Lord. I mean, we just baptized some the last service, man. I mean, they all remember when they had friends and talked to somebody. I was in line one day in the ladies were in front of me and they were talking about they said, Man, all that stuff going on Journey Church. I just wonder about them. I was right behind. I said, You think Journey Church is something you ought to meet their pastor.

James Greer: [00:05:37] He's crazy. They said, He is. I said, Oh yeah. And I just started laughing. When I got in the car, I said, Oh, thank you, Jesus. They're talking about us. I mean, you can learn to be happy. Amen. I mean, the problem is, if you've never been talked about, you need to worry. But there's another thing that's not taught in church, and I'm really concerned especially about young people. But when you don't learn it as a young person, you grow up and it comes in to later on in life. Some people don't understand when you're made fun of because of the way you look, your physical ability or your intellectual ability. They're really not making fun of you, but they're making fun of. The God who made you. You really don't have a lot to do with the way that you look in your intellectual ability now. Listen, I think you should do the best you can with what you got. Hey, man, I don't think you should go around and just try to be ugly. Hey, man. And I think you should educate yourself the best you can. But the psalmist said in Psalms 139:14, it says, I'll praise you for your fearfully and wonderfully made marvelous are your works. And that my soul knows it very well. My frame, it says, was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and I was skillfully put together in lower parts of the earth.

James Greer: [00:07:03] And then I want to read the message version of it. It says, I thank you, God. The psalmist is praising God for something your breathtaking body and soul. I am marvelously made. In other words, you need to know that you are actually marvelously made. Doesn't matter if you're tall, if you're short, if you're skinny, or you're fat. I was taking some pictures last night of some of the young kids at homecoming. I said, the big ones get in the back and the small ones get up front and. Little girls raise their hand. I said, Yeah. Said, Are you talking about it? Big ones like me, heavyset, or are you talking about toss it. No, baby. A tall was getting a bat and the short ones get the front. What? Because I want you to know that in God's eyes, he made you. And we're supposed to be able to look at them now, not like this ego arrogant maniac like, Hey, look at me. I'm God's gift to women. You are making fun of me. But. But I'm not talking about those guys. And I'm not talking about those women. I'm just thinking about yourself. And you understand that God made you. You're supposed to like, man, I am marvelously made. I worship in adoration. What a creation that I am because God is the Creator and God created me.

James Greer: [00:08:29] And you didn't have much to do with it. You know me inside and out and, you know, every bone in my body. You know exactly how it was made. Bit by bit. How I was sculptured from nothing to something. God made you and God sculptured you. And He shaped you and. And you're really not to make fun of people. And. Yeah, not to make fun of others and they're not to make fun of you. And you're not to be ashamed of the way God made you. Not physically. Ah, intellectually. In fact, the Corinthians tells us now all these things happen as examples. They say, All these things happened in the Old Testament. They were examples for us to learn for. They were written down for our admonition, for our learning, and to whom the ends of age come. And in Romans, it puts it another way. In Romans, it says this for whatsoever things were written before were written for our what? Our learning. So there were some things that were written down in the Old Testament that we need to learn from. And I want us to look at some things that we need to learn from about the way that we look and that we should not make fun of. And it's written down in 2 Kings and these things were written that we need to learn from the 2 Kings 2:23. It says, From there, Elijah, he went up to Bethel and all the way there are some boys.

James Greer: [00:10:02] They came up. Just don't say boys will be boys and boys came up of the city and they made fun of him. They did what made funny? I told y'all, don't be making fun of people. Amen. And they said to him, Go up to you, ball head. Go up to you. Ball head. You'll never see a bald-headed person the sane rest of your life. The allies have turned around and looked at them and put a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two Mother Bears came out of the woods and tour 42 of the boys to pieces. Now you start making fun of people. You start making fun of people. Those two bears aren't going to come out and kill you. Amen. But it's I hope not. But it is a physical illustration of a spiritual application how bad that God does not want you to make fun of people. But it's also a physical and spiritual application. That when people make fun of other people, if you'll let God take care of it, you don't have to worry about it anymore. Matter of fact, if you really understood Romans 12:17, it says, Repay no one evil for evil. Have regards for good things in the sight of all men. And then it says this if it is possible, I wonder if that means there's some people you can't live possible with.

James Greer: [00:11:42] But if it is possible, as much depends on you. Live peaceable with all men, women, boys and girls. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath for his written vengeance is mine I will repay, saith the Lord. Do you do understand what happens? So most people step in and try to take God's place. When people have done something to you to hurt you, made fun of you and you try to repay you try to repay them, and so therefore God's out of the picture. I've seen this happen over years. Over and over and over and over. People lie about just do things, say things about you and get out of the way and let God take care of. And he does a better job than you would ever do. The Bible says no translations. My friends don't try to punish others when they've done wrong to you. But wait for God to punish them with his own anger, for it is written. I will punish those who do wrong. I will repay them, saith the Lord. In other words, if you really understood what had happened and how to apply it. When people make fun of you, you would rather them be the one making fun of you. Then you be the one making fun of them. In fact, if you really understood this truth, it doesn't apply just to how you look. It applies how people talk to you and applies what people do to you.

James Greer: [00:13:05] But eventually you almost want to pray for them because you know their time is coming. You'll actually feel sorry for them. I know people that have lied about me and made fun of me and said things about me. And I got my family upset and I actually said, Honey, I feel sorry for them. How can you feel sorry for them? Because I know God always takes care of me if I'll just keep doing what's right and I don't say anything, God handles it. And boy, if you could just learn that, because it doesn't only apply to that. Because, see, when you talk about people and you're making fun of people, you're really disrespecting what God has made. Man, how I wish our kids and our youth could learn that at a young age. But what I'm afraid of is so many, not just our kids hadn't learned, not only our youth and learned, there are so many adults that brought it into adulthood and they don't appreciate the way God has made them and they're not happy with their selves. So they continue to try to find happiness in other things. Listen, you're fearfully and wonderfully made just the way you are. Amen. Second, believe it or not, you can be happy even when you're mistreated, Axtell said. And they call the apostles back in. Back in when after they had beaten them with a whip and worn them.

James Greer: [00:14:22] Don't speak in the name of Jesus again. Can you imagine? I don't think anybody in here has been mistreated like that. I don't think anybody in here has been beaten and then said, okay, we beat you with a whip. Now I'm going to tell you we're going to let you go. But don't talk about that Jesus anymore. When they let him go. Look what they did. You're not going to believe the apostles left the council. The ones that beat them, they were happy. How in the world could you be happy after they beat you? Because God had consider them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus. Now, see, what's so strange today is we think we're mistreated when somebody might turn their back on us. We think we're mistreated when somebody doesn't speak to us, we think we're mistreated. Well, so they just didn't call me back. I am so upset. And they were beaten and they were happy. I know. I know people that have almost thrown a fit because somebody didn't speak to them. Somebody didn't call them back. Somebody gave them a bad look and they were all upset. You want a free inside? You know why you're so upset about what everybody else is doing? You're more upset about them in your relationship than your fellowship and your relationship with Christ. Because if you're more worried about your relationship and fellowship with Christ, you wouldn't be near as worried about what other people are doing and saying, Oh, Brother James, that is good.

James Greer: [00:15:51] So next time somebody doesn't speak to you, Oh, mercy me. Sometimes I wish they wouldn't, but sometimes I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. No, not Yes, sir. Sometimes. Sometimes you don't even know who they are. If I see you out, just tell me who you are. I don't know if it's work or church or what it is. I don't know. And plus, I don't. I'm terrible with name. Just speak. Say bam. I know you from church. Hey, man. But I mean, a lot of times people don't even see each other. I've seen people get upset and they didn't even know they didn't see the person. Why don't you strive for peace? I still look for tropical? So the Bible says. That you can learn to be happy. If you quit worrying about how you're being mistreated. Do you know how they could be happy after they were beaten? Because they considered themselves worthy of the name of Jesus Christ. They had such a relationship and fellowship with Jesus Christ. They said more than what anybody else does to me, more than what anybody else says to me. The most important thing in my life is my relationship and fellowship with Christ. And more than that, Are you ready? Because the way I suffered and the way people mistreated me, people knew there was something different in me, and so they wanted to mistreat me.

James Greer: [00:17:27] Wouldn't it be something that if you had such a fellowship and relationship with Christ when people mistreated you? That the way you responded and reacted, they wanted it so bad. Sometimes they were even uglier to you. But the truth is, they wanted what was in you. Here's another thing. If you've never been hurt. Or been mistreated or lied about. Because of your stand for Christ. You're probably not making the right stand. So I'd be worried about it. The Bible says this. And 2 Timothy 3:12 is not written up there. It says, in fact, everyone who just simply wants to live a godly life for Christ, everyone who wants to live a godly life. You probably wouldn't be in church. You wouldn't be downstairs and all y'all upstairs and on line. You probably wouldn't be here unless you wanted to live a godly life for Christ. It didn't even say that they lived to God in life. There's another verse that says All that lived godly will be persecuted. This verse says all that want to live a godly life. Guess what? They will be persecuted. They will be made fun of. They will be hurt. So if you really want to live a godly life, you can expect other people to hurt you. They're going to hurt you by lying about you, betraying you and leaving you. It's going to happen. And so but the good thing is this.

James Greer: [00:19:00] Happiness during troubled times is a result of knowing you did what's right in the name of Jesus, in spite of what happened. Happiness in troubled times and ultimately knowing you did what's right in spite of what was done to you. If you know that you did what's right in spite of what happened to you, what somebody else did and said to you, you could still have peace. You cannot control what other people do and say about you, but you can control how you respond and what you did and when you did what's right. In spite of what happened, you can still have peace. In fact, in 2 Corinthians 9:8, it says this. And God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you always have all sufficiency and all things. I have all an abundance for every good work. Do you understand what it's saying? If you're really doing what God called you do? He says all grace abound. In other words, grace abound here, said God will give you the joy and the power to do what God's called you do in spite of any people, places, things, any circumstance or situation, He says, My grace are bound. Did you all know that Paul, who wrote three fourths of New Testament, that you know that there's a time he got a thorn in the flesh, that he asked God three times to remove it, and God said, I'm not going to remove it.

James Greer: [00:20:26] But he said, My grace is sufficient for you. And when he said that, what he said was this I'm going to give you the joy and power to do what I called you to do despite of the problems you're going through and what God say and despite of the problems, despite what people are saying, what other people are saying, if you're doing what's right, God said, I'll give you joy and power to do what I've called you to do in spite of situations and circumstances. No. If you don't have joy in your life, it's because you don't have the right fellowship in relationship with Christ. It's not people, it's not places and it's not thing. In fact, in fact, I can give you two examples, not only not only what people say about you, not only what people do about you, I can tell you, you can be happy even when you're done wrong. Don't we have a great God? Amen. And let me just paraphrase them for you. One of them was the prodigal son. And you can read about it because it's in Luke 15:19 to 24. But I just want to tell you about it. This prodigal son, he had everything going for him. He had a great dad. He went to his dad. He said, Dad, give me my inheritance that's coming to me. I don't know what's coming to him. But anyway, his dad was a good dad, and his dad gave him his money and he went out and blew the money.

James Greer: [00:21:40] He went out and partied, had a bunch of women and partied wine, women and whatever. He went broke. You really know who your friends are? We don't have anything to give them. All of a sudden he didn't have any friends. So he is in the pig pen, feeding the pigs, eating with the pigs. And all of a sudden he said, My dad's not that bad. The Bible said he came to his senses. You usually come to your senses when you hurt bad enough. It's an honor to return to my father's house. My father's servants have more to eat than I do. And on his way home from the pig pen. His father saw him. His father was waiting. His father's arms were wide open. His father's gave him a ring and put on sandals. His father said, Let's have a party. Now, let me ask you something. Had the sun done with Rome? Yes. Had the sun spent all the money? Yes. Had the sun been in a pigpen? Yes. But you think he was happy when he got home? When his dad loved him, Dad gave him a ring that put a sandals and dad said, Listen, we're going to have a party. He had done what was wrong, but his father still did what was right. So you might be here today and you have done what's wrong, but you can go home being happy.

James Greer: [00:22:59] How about the woman that was called in adultery? You can read about that story. It's a great story for me. It's in John chapter 8. But the Pharisees, the self-righteous people and always amazes me. It says they come to Jesus and they say, we caught her in the very act. I always wonder, had they catch her in the very act? What are they doing? Peeping through the window, watching? I don't know. I'm just saying the Bible says that. Not me. It said we caught her in the very act and they said, Jesus, you know, the Bible. And the old text said, We stone her. What do you say? Jesus And Jesus said He has not sin. Let him cast the first stone. I say, Anybody at Journey Church that has not sinned, let them cast the first stone. Jesus stood in the gap for the person that had sinned. And just like he stood in the gap for me and you. He then began to write on the sand. I think he started writing some of their sins down and they started leaving. And then he asked the woman who condemns you and now and she said, No one. He said, Neither do I. He said, Go and send no more. Let me ask you something. Had she sinned? Do you think she was happy when Jesus Christ stood in the gap and saved her? Yes.

James Greer: [00:24:20] See, it doesn't matter if you're like the prodigal and you had sinned and now you came home to the father and you're happy you had a party. It doesn't matter if you are like the woman caught in adultery and Jesus stood in the gap and said, Hey, I saved you from the sin and go and sin. The more she was happy. It doesn't matter if you were the person that people have been making fun of all this time and and you've gotten to the point it's upset you and you've not enjoyed living the life that God has for you because of what people said about you. Maybe you've come to a point you've even thought at yourself. It might be a physical thing. Maybe it was an intellectual thing. You just haven't done well in school and you thought, Hey man, I've really got a problem, and God made me that way. And today you want to just accept the way that God creates you because you're fearfully and wonderfully made. Maybe you've been getting so upset because what people said did you the way they looked at you and call you back or they did something. And now really and truly, that's kind of silly, isn't it? You hadn't been beaten for Jesus Christ. And the truth is today, the most important thing in your life. It's How has your fellowship in relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you understand? If it's really right.

James Greer: [00:25:32] You got joy. It's not what other people. Not with places. Not situations. Not circumstances. Not situations. Nobody can take my joy. Only you can give it away. Now you have to have Jesus to have that. If I was to ask most of you if Jesus was your savior, you'd say yes. But is he your Lord? Is he your ultimate authority? Is he the one that you say? I know he's in control. And because I know he's in control, when other people do things and say things, it doesn't really bother me that much because I know he's going to take care of it, not me. Today my thing to you is I want you to stand and pray, and I'm going to ask you to just surrender your life to him. Stand and let me pray for you. I thank you for our Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you for those that are here today. I don't believe anybody is here by accident. I believe you're here by divine appointment. God, for those that maybe are like the prodigal son that need to come back. Today's the day. Just imagine Jesus waiting with open arms. You can't go too far. He wants you back. Maybe those like the woman calling adultery say, Man, my sin is open, and Jesus has stood in the gap for you. He has not sinned. Let him cast the first stone and everybody has sinned.

James Greer: [00:27:05] And Jesus wants to love you and accept you and let you go and have a better life than you ever had. For those who've been consumed about what they look like, and it's just never enough, you just. Can't get enough, can't get enough clothes, can't get enough looks. It just it's just you're consumed with it. And I pray today that you would just accept the way that God made you. And you just have a peace that would come over you. For those that have been upset with other people about things they've done to them, maybe they were wrong. They really were. God said, I'll take care of those that are doing wrong. I'm calling you to a new relationship and fellowship with me. And then nobody can take it away. Maybe you're here and you're not sure that you've ever accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior. And you need to do that today. Maybe you have not followed through in baptism. We had that in the first service. We're going to have it in the next service. And maybe you want to be one of those. Maybe you want to join the church. I don't know what God's laid up on your heart. Maybe you need somebody pray with you and pray for you. But, man, I would not leave today without the joy that can only come from the right relationship with Christ. It's in his name, I pray. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360