A man of Italian ancestry dreamed of going to Italy to see the Pope. He saved
his money. Just before leaving he went to the barber shop 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 barber shop. 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. 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!"
The Church at Philippi was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey.
The word joy, rejoice, or gladness, is found 19 times in this little book. The
word mind is used a number of times in the book. Philippians is God's
psychology Book. 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
There is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness depends on
happenings. Joy depends on Jesus. Happiness is an outside job. Joy is an
If it is not happening, many people are miserable. 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!
The Philippians met unpredictable circumstances, people and things and it was
stealing their joy. They must have worried about these things. If you are a
Christian you have something the Devil wants to steal, and that's your joy.
Paul gave the Philippians a plan for living. "Rejoice in the Lord, always."
Today I want us to think about the obstacles to rejoicing, the occasions for
rejoicing, and the outcome of rejoicing.
1. THE OBSTACLES TO REJOICING
There are certain obstacles that can get in our path that will prohibit us
from having a joyful life.
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