A man of Italian ancestry dreamed of going to Italy to see the Pope, so he saved his money. Just before leaving he went to the barbershop to get a haircut. The barber was a pessimist. He told the barber his plans. The barber said, “How are you going to Italy?” The man said, “Italia Airlines.” “Forget it, they have a terrible reputation. You will be sorry you took that airline.” “Where are you going to stay?” “I will stay at the Hilton in Rome” Forget it. They have terrible service:—What are you going to do when you get to Rome?” “I am going to see the Pope:’ “You will never see the Pope. You are a nobody. The Pope only sees important people:’ Six weeks later the man comes back to the barbershop. The barber asked him if he made it to Italy. “I sure did: the man said. “I flew Italia Airlines, and it was the best flight I ever had. I stayed at the Hilton and I could not have been treated any better and I went to see the Pope:’ “What happened?” I bent down to kiss his ring and the Pope looked at me and said, “Son, where did you get that terrible haircut?” I believe negativity can actually rub off on people.
The church at Philippi was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey. The letter to the Philippians is God’s psychology book. The words joy, rejoice, and gladness are found 19 times in this little book. The word “mind” is used a number of times in this book as well. It is hard to have joy with a troubled mind. This church faced challenges, but they did not have to be controlled by them. If you are a Christian with little or no joy, you need to find out why.
Billy Sunday said, “If there is no joy in your Christianity, there is a leak in your religion somewhere:”
There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness depends on happenings. Joy depends on Jesus. Happiness is an outside job. Joy is an inside job.
Why do you think bars and restaurants have a “Happy Hour” instead of a ‘Joy Week”? They know that if they can keep a person temporarily happy for an hour or two, they can get him to come back to find their brand of happiness again tomorrow! If they were serving anything that could bring lasting joy they would serve someone once and never see them again!
Happiness is like money—sometimes it just does not last long. However, joy comes from knowing your father owns the bank! A life without joy has no power. Therefore the enemy is not after your happiness as much as he is after your joy. The enemy wants to rob you of your joy just long enough for you to do something dumb!
There was a man who climbed to the top of a bridge and was threatening to jump. A rookie policeman who had been taught how to deal with such situations arrived on the scene. The policeman began to work with the man. He said, “Come down and tell me your problems. If I can’t help you, I will allow you to climb back on the bridge.” The man came down, told the policeman his problems. The policeman locked arms with him and they both jumped!
If you have lost your joy, you need to get around the joyful! You know that misery loves company, but who in his right mind would desire to be miserable? Did you catch what I said? In his right mind.
If you are miserable about your finances, don’t pray for your money.
If you are miserable about your health, don’t pray for a better doctor.
If you are miserable about your marriage, don’t pray for a better partner.
Maybe it’s time to pray for a right mind! Sometimes we can be “positively negative:’
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