Notes and quotes from The Happy Christian by David Murray.
1. Christians should be the happiest people in the world.
2. “As Christians find themselves increasingly on the losing side of the culture wars, sermons and prayers sound more like discontented defeatism than inspirational calls to worship and service.”
3. We have so much to be positive about. “Taste the sweetness in this small sample of blessings:”
We love and are loved by the one true and living God.
God is our perfect Father.
We know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
The Holy Spirit is sanctifying and empowering us.
Our sins are forgiven.
We are justified and adopted into God’s worldwide and heaven-wide family.
We have all the promises of God.
Everything is working together for our good.
God is our guard and guide.
God lives in our hearts.
Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven and will welcome us there.
4. “Christian happiness is a God-centered, God-glorifying, and God-given sense of God’s love that is produced by a right relationship to God in Christ and that produces loving service to God and others.”
5. “We cannot change certain events in life, but we can change the way we respond to them.”
6. The need to feed our minds with a media diet that is biased toward what is good and beautiful. Choose books, magazines, websites, TV programmes, movies, and art that “elevates the heroic, inspires awe, and that generates worship.”
7. Recognise that “many activist and advocacy groups have a vested interest in selecting and emphasising the negative.”
8. Too much focus on falsehood breeds cynicism, suspicion, mistrust and hostility.
9. “Some Christians might need to know more of the detail about major disasters and tragedies, especially those whom God has especially called to interpret and explain these monstrous actions to the public and the church. But most of us don’t need to glue ourselves to the TV and to Internet news. Instead, we should actively shield our families and ourselves from much of it.”
10. I don’t need to know everything.
11. Pastors, what diet are you feeding Christ’s sheep with? Are you focusing more on salvation, truth, wooing, victory, celebration, life, and strength than sin, falsehood, warning, struggle, lamentation, death, and weakness?
12. “It’s often said that Jesus preached on hell more than anyone else. That’s true. But He did not preach on hell more than anything else. Yes, He warned a lot, but He wooed and won even more.”
13. As well as highlighting and sympathising with persecuted Christians around the world who are suffering horrendously, also remember the wonderful impact of the gospel around the world, and that people are coming to faith.
14. “Sure, we need to hear about our Christian duties, but not at the expense of Christ’s Done, and only after His Done has performed its soothing work in our souls.”
15. “We get in by His Done. We stay in by His Done. We finish by His Done. If not, we’re done. That’s why we need to keep preaching, hearing, and believing the gospel of grace.”
16. When we look to Jesus, we will begin to look like Jesus, think like Jesus, act like Jesus, and even feel joy like Jesus.
17. “His Done is our foundation for service. His Done is our fuel for service. His Done is our forgiveness for imperfect service.”
18. The devil wants us to keep thinking and talking about Christians rather than think and talk about Jesus. “And the more we think and talk about Christians instead of Jesus, the more dismayed and downcast we will become.”
19. Don’t talk negatively about other Christians in front of your children or unbelievers.
20. The more we have to look forward to, the happier we will be.
21. “As believers, however, we must remember the past from which the Lord saved us. If done rightly, it is not painfully humiliating but happily humbling. Instead of leaving us wallowing in guilt, it makes us so thankful to God for what He delivered us from.”
22. “In the Christian life, forward looks should outweigh backward looks because no matter how wonderful the past has been, the best is yet to be.”
23. Hope produces action. “When we hope for better days for the church, we serve the church. When we hope for the conversion of our children, we are motivated to share the gospel with them. When we hope for God’s blessing on His Word, we listen to it much more avidly.”
24. The Christian should see far more beauty in the world than the non-Christian.
25. “Everywhere grace can help us fill out some of the details of the general principles that God gives us in His Word.”
26. “If it were not for God’s everywhere grace filling our world day by day, our neighbours would turn into devils and our world into hell.”
27. “If God has enabled a non-Christian to make the best product or provide the most efficient service, we should gladly buy from him or her and regard it as God’s grace to that person and to us.”
28. God-centered thank-you’s: I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all…
29. To encourage people is going to take discipline on my part.
30. “If you’re going to criticise every fault and failing of everyone around you, you’re going to be very busy and lonely.”
31. “Make sure that you’re criticizing what God criticizes, that you’re not basing everything on your preferences or prejudices.”
32. Positive leaders serve with cheerfulness, by challenging, with confidence, by communicating, are contagious.
33. Diversity will make you happier than uniformity.