1. Hello listening friends.
2. Again we are very grateful that you’ve tuned in to this broadcast.
3. In fact we’d really love to hear from you and hear how God is using these messages in your life.
4. And you can get in touch with us either by mail or through the internet.
5. And we’ll give you the address at the end of this broadcast.
6. But I want to begin by telling you something that you will know anyway.
7. Since the beginning of time.
8. The human race has been trying to define happiness.
9. In fact the human race has been trying to pursue and find happiness.
10. For centuries, philosophers have been wrestling with this question.
11. They have been asking, what is happiness?
12. And they have not come to an agreement yet.
13. As I look through the Scripture.
14. I found it easier to define what happiness is not than to define what happiness is.
15. Let me tell you 10 things that will guarantee you misery.
16. Are you ready?
18. Make little things bother you and irritate you.
20. Lose your perspective on things.
21. And keep that perspective lost all the time.
23. Worry about that which you cannot change.
25. Be intolerant of others failures.
27. Be right always.
28. Be the only who’s right.
29. And be rigid about your rightness.
31. Don’t trust, believe, or accept people.
33. Always compare yourself unfavorably to others.
35. Take everything you don’t like personally.
37. Don’t give of yourself whole-heartedly anything or anybody.
38. Ten and final,
39. Make happiness to be the aim of your life.
40. Now my listening friends, I want to tell you, if you practice these 10 things.
41. You can guarantee yourself an unhappy life.
42. The truth is this,
43. Throughout history we find that every culture of the world is in pursuit of happiness.
44. The stoics have taught that the best way to be happy is to eliminate your desires all together.
45. Because when you are not expecting anything, you will not be disappointed.
46. But that’s not the case in Psalm 126.
47. Before I explain this Psalm, let’s read it together.
48. You notice that in Psalm 126 we see people who are very happy and full of joy.
49. They said our mouths are filled with laughter and singing.
50. Not only are these people rejoicing.
51. But their surrounding neighbors who see them happy become happy for their sake.
52. The Psalmist does not define happiness here in Psalm 126.
53. He only describes it.
54. In fact verse 3 is a vivid picture of happiness.
55. According to Psalm 126,
56. There are 3 descriptions of happiness.
57. The first one tells us that happiness is freedom.
58. And we see this in verse 1, 2, and 3.
59. Second, he tells us that happiness is fullness.
60. And you see this in verse 4.
61. Thirdly he tells us that happiness is fruitfulness.
62. And you find this in verses 5 and 6.
63. Let’s begin at the first 3 verse of Psalm 126.
64. The Psalmist says that happiness is freedom.
65. But before I explain this let me give you a historical background.
66. The people of God here were celebrating something exciting.
67. There was a supernatural intervention of God in their lives.
68. This Psalmist is describing something that was not expected.
69. And the people here are absolutely ecstatic.
70. They are standing in awe at what happened.
71. A siege of Jerusalem had taken place.
72. And right at the time when they were scared and afraid.
73. When they were ready to give up on life itself.
74. God intervenes supernaturally and shocks them.
75. And the Psalmist tells us that not only they were happy.
76. But other nations were excited as well.
77. Even their enemies were rejoicing with them.
78. Most old testament historians tell us that this Psalm describes the Lord’s deliverance of Jerusalem.
79. Deliverance from the Assyrian army during the reign of King Hezekiah.
80. Remember King Hezekiah was a godly king.
81. He wanted only to obey and serve God.
82. He was interested only in what God had to say to the nation.
83. King Hezekiah was looking for political solutions.
84. In fact these events are recorded II Kings chapters 18 and 19 and II Chronicles 32.
85. And also we find more information on this in Isaiah chapter 36 and 37.
86. Hezekiah would not compromise with the Assyrians.
87. He wanted only what God wanted.
88. So the king of Assyria, Sennacherib, was totally furious.
89. And he wanted to bring Jerusalem to its knees.
90. Planning of course to get the rest of the nations.
91. But godly King Hezekiah went straight to Isaiah the prophet.
92. And he said to him,
93. Prophet of God what am I supposed to do about this?
94. Isaiah gives him a word of encouragement and assurance.
95. Isaiah said to the king,
96. King, you keep doing what you’re doing.
97. You are doing exactly the right thing.
98. God is going to take care of you.
99. Now when 185,000 military personnel of the Assyrian army are surrounding the walls of the city.
100. Cutting the food and the water supply.
101. The people were terrified and they were screaming at the king.
102. But it takes a man of God to trust God and take Isaiah at his word.
103. Hezekiah did exactly that.
104. The king said to the Lord,
105. Lord, I’m going to trust you and obey you.
106. I’m going to persevere.
107. And I know somehow you’re going to intervene.
108. Do you know what happened?
109. These 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slain by the angel of God in one night.
110. And God’s people did not have to fight at all.
111. All they had to do was trust and wait on God to answer their prayers.
112. And God did the rest.
113. So you can imagine the amazement of the people in Jerusalem when they opened the gates in the morning.
114. And there they saw behind the wall, all the Assyrian army lying dead.
115. Now no wonder the Psalmist said this was an incredible dream.
116. Imagine the amazement of the neighboring nations.
117. Who knew in their hearts that if Jerusalem fell they would be next.
118. Imagine their excitement.
119. They were not happy for Jerusalem only, but they were happy for themselves.
120. Because the Assyrians of those days were known as very barbaric.
121. But what is the spiritual implication of this Psalm for today?
122. It tells us that happiness is freedom.
123. There is no joy in bondage.
124. People who live without God in their life.
125. They like to think that freedom means to pursue pleasure.
126. Whatever pleasure they desire.
127. And they consider that to be happiness.
128. I hope you will not make the mistake of thinking that sin is always misery.
129. The Scripture said there is pleasure in sin.
130. But it says the says the pleasures of sin are for a moment.
131. There is a time when sin is pleasurable.
132. But it is only for a moment.
133. There are people who take drugs.
134. Others drink alcohol.
135. Thinking that this is how they deaden their emotional pain.
136. That may work for an hour.
137. Then they have to take more.
138. And several months or years later they have to double that again.
139. Until their brains and their liver are damaged.
140. And the whole body begins to fall apart.
141. Oh yes there is pleasure in sin for a moment.
142. On the other hand there are those who may never drink alcohol or take chemical substance.
143. And yet they are enslaved to all kinds of fears in their lives.
144. Fear can destroy them just as effectively as alcohol and drugs.
145. They are in bondage or feeling locked in their circumstances.
146. Or there are some who are in bondage to what other people say of them.
147. But they have the freedom to choose how you are going to react to what people say.
148. Instead of being enslaved to those who are your critics.
149. You can choose to love them.
150. Then there are others that are in bondage to their desire.
151. And some are in bondage to hopelessness and pessimism.
152. And there are those who are in bondage to gloom and doom.
153. There are all kinds of bondage.
154. These bondages are just as real as Hezekiah’s when he sat inside the city surrounded by the Assyrian army.
155. Yet the good news is that Jesus delivers us from all bondage.
156. Listen to what he said in John chapter 8 verse 32.
157. That you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.
158. We know that happiness is freedom.
159. But just what is true freedom?
160. I will answer this question in the next broadcast.
161. plus we will talk about the fullness and fruitfulness of happiness.
162. As we continue this series from Psalm 126 on defining happiness.