1.In John 14-16 Jesus showed how He provides peace for troubled hearts. 2.This evening we are concentrating on a question that King Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah: "Why is thy countenance sad?" (Nehemiah 2:2). 3.In other words, "Why are you so unhappy?" 4.We live in a world filled with unhappy people. 5.God's people must guard against this influence. 6.Let us first examine . . .
A.As we do so we will see that . . . 1.there are some legitimate reasons for being sad 2.some reasons are not legitimate. B.Bible characters who experienced sadness for legitimate reasons include: 1.Nehemiah a.He became sad when he learned about the condition of Jerusalem. b.His sadness was a matter of concern for the king. c.Nehemiah dealt with his sadness by: 1)praying 2)asking the king for permission to go to Jerusalem 3)going to Jerusalem and building the wall. 2.Hannah, the mother of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:6-8) a.Hannah was sad because her husband's other wife provoked her. b.Hannah dealt with her sadness by praying (vs.10) and asking God to give her a son (vs.11). c.(vs.17) Eli assured Hannah that God would grant her request. d.Notice how her countenance changed (vs.18b). 3.Jesus -- at the tomb of Lazarus, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). 4.From these Bible characters we see that there are legitimate reasons for experiencing sadness -- there is "a time to weep" and "a time to mourn" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). C.Some Bible characters who experienced sadness for reasons that are not legitimate include: 1.Ahab (1 Kings 21:4-5) a.Ahab wanted a vineyard that belonged to Naboth, but Naboth would not let Ahab have it. b.Ahab became very sad because he could not have his way. c.Jezebel had Naboth killed so Ahab could have his vineyard. 2.The Pharisees (Matthew 6:16) a.They put on sad faces when they fasted to impress other people. b.Jesus gave His followers some different instructions (vs.17-18). 3.The rich young ruler (Mark 10:22) 4.These Bible characters show that it is possible to experience sadness for reasons that are not legitimate. D.Even though there are legitimate reasons for being sad temporarily, . . .
A.(John 10:10) Jesus came so we could have "life" and have it "more abundantly." B.(Galatians 5:22) The fruit of the Spirit includes "joy." C.(Philippians 4:4) "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
A.(Psalm 128:1-2) We must fear the Lord and walk in His ways. B.(Psalm 144:15) We must have God as our Lord (33:12a). C.(Psalm 146:3-6) We must avoid putting our trust in man (118:8). D.(Proverbs 3:13, 18) We must find wisdom and retain it. E.(Proverbs 4:23) We must keep our hearts diligently. 1.The key to keeping the heart is thinking properly (23:7a). 2.A list of good things to think on is given in Philippians 4:8. 3.Thinking on such things will affect: a.your countenance (Proverbs 15:13a) b.your disposition (Psalm 118:24). F.(Proverbs 16:20b) We must trust in the Lord (3:5-6). G.(Proverbs 29:18b) We must keep the law of the Lord. 1.(Psalm 1:2) A "blessed" man has his "delight" in the Lord's law, and he meditates upon it "day and night." 2.(John 13:17) Jesus said, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
1.A practical exercise is for each person to take a serious look at himself in a mirror. 2.Do you see a happy person or a sad person? 3.If you see a happy person, do not let the world cause you to become sad. 4.If you see a sad person, the Lord will help you become a happy person. 5.Before the Lord can help you, you must make the decision to let Him. 6.If you need to become a Christian, by doing so you will have reason to rejoice (Acts 8:39, 35-38). 7.If you have become a Christian but you have allowed the world to rob you of happiness, it can be restored (Psalm 51:12a).