Listen to this Sermon: 03312013IWillHaveAGoodDayDonRuhl

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I Will Have a Good Day 

What determines whether we have a good day?

Philippians 4.12, 13

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 31, In the year of our Lord, 2013

Scripture Reader and Reading: Gene Tomlinson – Hebrews 12.1, 2

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Kevin Michael – Songs that encourage us



  1. The Scripture Reading
    1. See the strong contrast of Hebrews 12.1, 2.
    2. The writer told us that Jesus “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.”
      1. Let that sink into your mind,
        1. as you wonder how He could have joy
        2. when He faced a Roman crucifixion!
      2. Joy helped Him endure the cross.
    3. If Jesus Christ could have joy set before Him with the agonies of the cross,
      1. do you think we can have joy in all our circumstances?
      2. Is having good in our day
        1. up to how others treat us, or
        2. do we have any part in it?
  2. Having a Good Day Is Up to Us 
    1. Brother Hugo McCord has written the following:

      “After I had bought stamps, as I turned to leave, I said to Geri, the postal clerk, ‘Have a good day.’ With a smile she replied, ‘I will have a good day. It’s up to me.’ Was she correct? Does each person have the ability to make every day a good one?”

    2. When you tell others to have a good day, how do you mean them to have it?
      1. Do you mean that you hope all their circumstances go their way?
      2. Do you mean that you hope God will work miracles in their lives so that they do not have to do anything to have a good day?
      3. Do you mean that you hope they do what they can to have a good day?
    3. When others say it to you, what do you think they mean?
      1. When you accept their wish for you to have a good day,
        1. do you mean that you will do what you can to have a good day, or
        2. that having a good day is outside of your control and
        3. that things have to go your way before you have a good day?
      2. Let us consider brother Hugo’s question:

        “Does each person have the ability to make every day a good one?”


  1. Paul Knew How to Make His Day Good 
    1. Why did he say the encouraging things that he did?
      1. The Book of Philippians highlights many of his encouraging sayings.
        1. Philippians 2 reveals what he was thinking
          1. as he contemplated dying for his faith,

            17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me (Phi 2.17, 18).

        2. Philippians 3 refers to the writing of Philippians itself, and
          1. remember that the Book of Philippians was written from a jail cell,

            1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe (Phi 3.1).

        3. Philippians 4 puts no outward conditions on rejoicing,
          1. except for one,
          2. that it be in the Lord,

            4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Phi 4.4).

    2. Was it just Paul’s nature to rejoice in the face of horrible circumstances?
      1. Was he just born to be an optimist?
      2. Were his problems minor in life, so that he did not know true suffering?
    3. He had more than enough troubles.
      1. He was chained.
        1. Acts 28 shows the vivid contrast
          1. between what Paul believed and his current condition.
          2. Notice why he said he was bound with a chain,

            20 “For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain” (Acts 28.20).

            1. Most people when they suffer unjustly
              1. demand their rights, and
              2. they are fighting mad.
            2. Is this what you see in Paul?
        2. Ephesians 6 shows that Paul had not become sour, but
          1. he wanted to continue to do what got him into chains initially.
          2. He wanted to do it while still in the chains.
          3. He asked for the brethren to pray for him concerning the gospel,

            20 …for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Eph 6.20).

      2. Second Corinthians 11 catalogs many of his sufferings,

        23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? (2Co 11.23–29).

        1. I am not saying these things to minimize your tribulations.
          1. Rather we need to see a man suffering horribly, and
          2. suffering in many different ways, but
          3. still able to rejoice.
      3. Second Corinthians 12 explains that he had a thorn in the flesh,
        1. a health problem which plagued him strongly.
        2. He prayed to God about it, but
          1. God did not take the problem away,

            7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure (2Co 12.7).

          2. Do you have a thorn in the flesh?
          3. You can have a good day, although something torments you.
    4. Philippians 4, written from a jail cell,
      1. will show why this man could call days in jail good days,

        7 …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phi 4.7).

        1. Paul had miraculous power to heal the sick, but
          1. no miracles were performed on his heart.
          2. The peace of which he spoke is just as available to you,
            1. so that you can have good days,
            2. even while suffering.
        2. It was up to Paul to follow his own Holy Spirit-inspired advice,

          6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Phi 4.6).

  2. Paul Did Not Learn This Overnight 
    1. Philippians 4 shows what we need to learn,

      11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content (Phi 4.11).

      1. It was by experience,
        1. as well as by instruction,
        2. that he learned this valuable lesson.
    2. Paul showed that when the church sent him money in Rome,
      1. the money was not as important as learning how to be content,

        12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phi 4.12, 13).

      2. Brother Hugo McCord says,

        “Misguided translations (KJV, ASV, NAS, NIV, NRS) have inserted the word ‘do’ in Philippians 4:13, making Paul to say, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Paul did not write the word ‘do,’ poieo. Instead, he wrote ischuo, meaning to be strong, to be powerful, to be able. He was not talking about what he could do, but what he could endure: ‘I can endure every situation through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13).”

    3. Do not expect strength by miracle.
      1. Some people want God to give them good by miracle because they are spiritually lazy.
        1. They might even make it seem like they are depending on God, but
        2. the truth is having a good day requires self-discipline, and
        3. following the instructions of the Lord.
      2. You have what it takes to approach each day with a good attitude, and
        1. by following the Lord’s leadership,
        2. you will learn as Paul did.
    4. Susan Walton, a member of the North MacArthur Church in Oklahoma City, was a customer in the credit office of the Murrah Building when the bomb exploded April 19, 1995.
      1. She suffered many broken bones,
        1. a ruptured spleen and
        2. nerve damage that left her crippled.
      2. After two years,
        1. she had undergone 20 surgeries.
        2. Yet, she continued to be optimistic.
      3. Of her Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating wrote,

        “Susan Walton epitomizes the qualities of courage, faith and endurance…As terrible as her injuries were, and as complex as her recovery has been, she has never failed to smile and show her love. Now has come another jolt. While she was in Denver testifying in the Timothy McVeigh trial, Susan received word that her Oklahoma City home had gone up in flames. Her reaction: ‘Well, at least I’ll get a new wardrobe out of this’ (Christian Chronicle).


  1. Is Having a Good Day Up to Us?
    1. It is true that the devil is a powerful pessimistic influence.
      1. The world itself is also a powerful negative influence.
      2. Let us not be affected by the world.
    2. Remember:
      1. Your faith has overcome the world; and
      2. greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.
  2. Eternity 
    1. Right along with all this material is this profound truth:
    2. Having a good eternity or having a bad eternity is up to each of us.
      1. There is no question that God wants you to have a good eternity.
      2. He has done everything for you to have one.
        1. The question is whether you want to have a good eternity; and
        2. what you are willing to do to have a good eternity.
  3. To Have a Good Eternity 
    1. You must be a Christian, be saved from having an awful eternity.
    2. You become a Christian by:
      1. Accepting the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
      2. Changing your life to be like the life of Jesus Christ.
      3. Participating in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ through baptism.