Joy in the journey
JOY is the infallible (onfeilbaarheid) sign of the presence of God -Pierre Chardin
You will experience joy killers – that will want to:
- Demotivate / Demoralize
- Destroy you
That’s why being positive in a negative world will take some effort and commitment from your side.
Complaining kills joy. It makes you unhappy. It makes everyone around you unhappy too.
Can I ask you – do you like to be around negative people?
The problem is once we start complaining and are negative it becomes hard to stop. It’s like a slippery slope.
Complaining and being negative can become a habit.
In case you didn’t know, it’s a ‘bad habit’.
Society can so easily condition us to be fault finders, complainers and negative.
Look at the headlines in the newspapers and on television and social media – most of that stuff is bad news.
We’ve become experts at murmuring and complaining
We are bombarded continuously with what’s wrong with everything plus our personal problems.
The bible tells us that disciples of Jesus are to be different.
Joy is a clear sign of being different
Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV) – 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life(This kind of person lives contrary to the world). And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
This is not written to sound nice - it’s for us to submit and be obedient too!
How to make sure you will have joy in the journey and conquer complaining and being negative.
#1 Admit there is a problem.
If you are a constant complainer, fault finder and you’re negative most times, you have a problem. (Don’t live in denial)
The bible says, “Do everything without complaining and arguing.”
Proverbs 28:13 (LB) – A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.
One of the most difficult parts of correcting a problem is, “To admit you have one”.
Challenge: Take some time this week and listen to yourself. How much do you complain and talk negative?
Proverbs 28 gives us two steps on the way to correct our problem:
- Confesses and (Admit)
- Forsakes them (Stop it)
#2 Change your self-talk.
Most people practice negative self-talk day in and day out.
It’s such a habit they don’t even notice.
We wonder why we can’t get over bad habits of complaining, murmuring, arguing and being negative.
Psychologists estimate that you’re talking to yourself at a rate of 1200 to 1500 words per minute.
In contrast, when we speak out loud we can only go up to 250 words a minute.
Story of the pastor and his teeth:
A Pastor goes to the dentist for a set of false teeth.
The first Sunday after he gets his new teeth, he talks for only 8 minutes.
The second Sunday, he talks for only 10 minutes.
The following Sunday, he talks for 2 hours and 48 minutes.
The congregation had to mob him to get him down from the pulpit and they asked him what happened?
The Pastor explains the first Sunday his gums hurt so bad he couldn’t talk for more than 8 minutes.
The second Sunday his gums hurt too much to talk for more than 10 minutes. But, the third Sunday, he put his wife’s teeth in by mistake and he couldn’t shut up…
Israel is a perfect example of the devastating result of self-talk.
Psalm 106:25-27 (NIV) – 25 They grumbled(negative, complaining, murmuring) in their tents and did not obey the Lord. 26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness, 27 make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands.
If you want to have joy in your journey you are going to have to change your self-talk.
Philippians 4:8 (LB) – And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
#3 Speak positively.
Not only should you think positive thoughts, you should also speak positive words.
Ephesians 4:29 (Amp) – Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.
James 5:9 (LB) – Don’t grumble about each other, brothers. Are you yourselves above criticism? For see! The great Judge is coming. He is almost here. Let him do whatever criticizing must be done.
#4 Take responsibility for your own life.
Many times, our complaining is just an attempt to blame other people for our problem.
If we are honest with ourselves we many times bring the problems on ourselves. We are our own worst enemy.
Proverbs 19:3 (LB) – A man may ruin his chances by his own foolishness and then blame it on the Lord!
Galatians 6:7 (Ampl) – Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.
Our choices we make determine whether we will have joy in our journey or not.
We must accept responsibility for our own lives.
What are the positive results of a non-complaining, Positive life?
Looking at our key verse in the Message Bible…
Philippians 2:14-16 (Msg) – 14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.
It means when I’m positive and don’t complain, I change the atmosphere of the world I live in. When you have Joy in your journey
- History changer
- Difference maker
- Momentum giver
- Enthusiasm carrier
Encouraging many to have joy in their journey.
#5 Look for God in every situation.
A sure way to get over complaining and being negative, look for God’s hand in all of your situations and circumstances.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (LB) – These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever!
God is always active in our lives and wants us to have joy in our journey.
Romans 15 : 13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
May we learn that a negative, complaining life leaves God out of the situation.
You are actually saying God isn’t big enough to take care of me.
Joy in your journey – be positive in a negative world.