#283 (29/04/07)
Finding Happiness from the Inside Out Part III

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

She is not only extremely talented on stage and screen, she’s not only a fantastic wife and mother of twins, but she is a beautiful Christian. A native of New York City, she grew up in the St. Petersburg Florida with her sister and their mother Betty. Now Betty, her mother, was a single mother and a social worker. But she stressed to her daughters the importance of an education. Get an education. And with the assistance of an academic scholarship, Angela Bassett received her Bachelor of Arts degree in African American studies from Yale University in 1980 and then in 1983, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. And it was at Yale that Angela Bassett met her husband actor Courtney B.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.."
" This Joyful Day "

PURDUE VARSITY GLEE CLUB - "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”

TRAVIS COTTRELL - "Largo (My Prayer)”
TRAVIS COTTRELL – “Forevermore”
TRAVIS COTTRELL - "God Leads Us Along”

The Message

Well you know, this church has been built on several visits by Dr. Peale and the first one came when my father was just starting the church. Dr. Peale had written the best selling book, it was a national runaway best seller, “The Power of Positive Thinking” and he was an icon in America and every single person in America over the age of two knew his name. And when he agreed to come to the.. then the Garden Grove Community Church, he was agreeing to come and preach to a congregation he wasn’t quite aware of what he would be doing. My father sent him a letter as only he can do, pointing out all the positives about the Orange Drive in theater. We didn’t have any members but he’d let them know that there was room for thousands to attend. And he did come and there were thousands who attended and that was the beginning. But there were so many preparations that had to be made, especially for that very first visit that my father never stopped to write an introduction for this world renowned guest that he had and all of a sudden he entered the pulpit to introduce his guest and he was not quite speechless. My father is never speechless. He always has more than enough things to say.

And on this day he stood up and he said ‘we have here in this beautiful place and on this fabulous morning, the greatest possibility thinker the world has ever known. He is here with us today.’ All of a sudden it dawned on him that he might be stretching the truth. And instead of letting the truth stretch he spoke the truth and he said ‘his name is Jesus Christ and here to tell us all about Him is Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.’ And that’s the way he introduced Dr. Peale the first time.

Well this morning I want to talk about finding happiness from the inside out because that’s where our happiness comes from. It doesn’t come from without, it comes from within. And one of the ways we do that is by understanding and speaking the truth. The truth of positive affirmations about who we are, how we exist, what we are, and today I have a text for you and an affirmation that will help build the positive goodness of God’s love within your heart, which will translate into your mind, and generate the happiness that we deserve and desire and long for and it comes from the inside out.

St. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, two thousand years ago these words, and I consider them the honest truth, as pure as it comes. He said, “It is God at work in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” It is God in you. He doesn’t say it was God in you, nor does he say God will work in you. It is present tense, right now, always has been, is currently, always will be. It is God at work in you. Is that a positive affirmation today? If you believe that as a positive affirmation, we need to speak positive affirmations. Would you repeat this words after me: It is God at work in you (AUDIENCE: It is God at work in you). Now turn to the person to your right and to your left, shake their hand and say God is at work in you.

Now, it’s much easier to see God at work in other people than it is to see God at work in ourselves. We have to take ownership of these words. God is at work in me. If you believe that, even if you don’t believe it, say it anyway because it will begin to impact your mind with the happiness that comes from the inside out. God is at work in me (AUDIENCE: God is at work in me). Now turn to the person to your right and to your left, and say it again. God is at work in me.

God is at work in you. That is a very positive affirmation. And we have to realize that God truly is at work. And it is God who is at work. He moves mountains to make things happen in your life. Royalty will get out of your way. Everybody will get out of the way when God is there.
There’s an old story of a ship traveling through the seas and seeing an obstacle in his way, another ship, he used his means of communications to request that they alter course. They used the light system, you know? The flashing lights to communicate with the dashes and dots. And in the process it says please alter your course five degrees west. And instead of receiving an affirmation, it came back alter your course five degrees east. With this the captain of the ship got a little concerned because you have to realize he was captaining her majesty’s yacht and on board was Prince William. And he wouldn’t alter his course for anyone. After all, Prince William ruled the seas. And so he flashed his lights again, alter your course five degrees west. This is the captain of her majesty’s yacht. And Prince William is aboard and we demand that you alter your course five degrees west. And the response came back alter your course five degrees east. This is Mr. James Smith, commander of the lighthouse. Alter your course five degrees east.

And when we have the power of God living within us, mountains move. And things, which seemed impossible suddenly, shift and change. It is God in us. This morning I interviewed Evelyn Freed. And she said I am enthused about living and about life. And the word enthused comes from two Greek words en theos. In God. Enthusiasm. And when we are in God, we are enthused; we are injected with the power of God. And God starts to work within our lives in ways we’ve never seen before. It is God at work in you! It is right there at your fingertips, right where you need it, the happiness, the joy, the prosperity, the goodness, everything you need is at your fingertips. But it’s so hard for us to believe it. And in our frustration we look elsewhere instead of looking right here. We hope to find happiness if we get this. If only I was married I’d be happy. If only I had children I’d be happy. If only I had more money if I’d be happy. If only I had a new house I’d be happy, a new car, and we start looking for happiness in all the wrong places. And the fact is the happiness is right here right where we are.

And it easy for us to look at everybody else and say oh God, why is it that everybody else is so happy? And we’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places. And the truth is that it is God in you, that God is in you right now. And as we recognize the power of God working within our hearts and our minds and our souls, we can discover the happiness that God has for us.
There are many people facing severe illnesses, and they’re facing tremendous mountains and difficulties. But the facts remain when we see and understand the power of God within us, to will and to act according to His purpose, that the beauty of the reality of His love for us begins to shine. St. Paul said earlier in his letter to the Philippians, he said, “For me to live as Christ and to die is gain.” The first close friend of mine that I witness pass, was a good friend of mine by the name of Steve Grothman. It was about 15 years ago. He contracted lung cancer. It moved to his brain and then it moved to his heart. And when it was strangling him, and it didn’t look very good, I went and visited him as I did many times during that period. And as I was talking with him, Steve said to me, “you know Robert, if I can beat this cancer, I win. But you know if I lose, I win more. I win more.”

And what we have to realize is that as we continue to live with God, you cannot fail. It is impossible to fail when you’re living in the hand and in the work and doing the purpose that God has called you to do. And so it begins with this fabulous statement from St. Paul: “It is God at work in me.” God is in me.

One of the greatest things that Norman Peale did was share with everybody he could the love of Jesus Christ. And if you want to experience the beauty of telling people about God, do you know what you can do? All you have to do is call your significant others: your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, whoever it is and I probably missed somebody, and call your significant other up and simply say God is at work in you. And by doing that you begin to build positive thoughts, positive self esteem, you begin to make a difference in the world. And when you realize that God is at work in everybody you meet, your perception of people will change. Suddenly you become a more loving person, a more caring person. The world becomes a little brighter.

How many people have a cell phone with them this morning? How many people have a cell phone, raise your hand up high. You got a lot of them here. How many have your cell phones turned off? Okay, when was the last time you’ve been in church and the pastor said turn your cell phones on? Can you think of a time you’ve ever been asked to turn your cell phone on in church? This is the time; turn your cell phone on. Go ahead, just turn your cell phone on, you’re welcome to do it, if there’s a lot of beeps and bells and whistles and stuff, that’s okay. Because we’re going to allow God to work in us right now. All you do is turn your cell phone on, scroll down your list until you find the person God knows needs to hear this message, call them up and say hi I’m in church and pastor just called me to tell you. I’m serious. This is going to be fun.

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