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Finding Happiness in God (Part 2 of 2)

Air Date 08/15/2018

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In a discussion based on her book The Sacrament of Happy, Lisa Harper explains how happiness is a biblical concept and why God desires for us to be happy. She also describes how we can experience happiness in healthy ways and how it's possible for happiness and sadness to co-exist. (Part 2 of 2)

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Lisa Harper: I wrapped verses around stuff. I made it look - sound biblical when I was dying on the inside. I would paste a smile on my face and use happy inflection and all the while thinking, “I don’t know if I can keep hiking up this hill. It’s just too steep.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Lisa Harper joins us once again on Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. 

Jim Daly: John, last time we started a great program on happiness. Now, I was a little kind of eh...

John: You were a little reluctant almost, yeah.

Jim: Because happiness - I’m in that camp, I kinda see joy as a greater good...

John: That’s more spiritual.

Jim: ...Higher calling. But Lisa Harper did a wonderful job explaining why happiness is a holy thing and what God desires for us when it comes to happiness. Lisa shared last time that she once viewed God as distant, unhappy and angry. And I think a lot of people do.

This program, last time and today, I think will change your mind about the belly laugh of God. And I love that picture. You know, the Pharisees and the scribes, sometimes they were critical of Jesus because He laughed with the sinners. And you know, it’s just wonderful to see God apply this wonderful gift of laughter and happiness as an example to us made in His image. And we are gonna get there today. So if you’re feeling like “That’s not where I’m at today, I haven’t been there in a long time,” stick with us. Hear what Lisa has to say and apply it.

John: Yeah. I think you’ll appreciate Lisa’s wisdom, the biblical study behind this book and so much more. The first half of the conversation, by the way, is available on our mobile app. You can take it along with you and listen again and again. We have a CD or download as well. Those resources and Lisa’s book, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World, are all available at focusonthefamily.com/radio. And Lisa is a very popular women’s speaker and author. And she and her daughter Missy live in Tennessee. 

Body:

Jim: Lisa, welcome back.

Lisa: Oh, thank you so much for having me back.

Jim: You’re smiling. You must be happy.

Lisa: I am very happy. I’m very...

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That is good.

Lisa: I love the way y’all intro this because I think most people either think, “I don’t have the personality type for happiness” or “that’s a trite or superficial emotion.” And so I love the way you kind of teased it that most of us have misconceptions or misinformation when it comes to happiness.

Jim: Well, you know, that’s really interesting. And that’s, perhaps, a good place to start, the difference in personality, extroverts and introverts. Um, you know, some introverts would say, “Well, happiness might be easier for my extroverted husband.”

Lisa: Right, right.

Jim: Is it really that simple or should everybody have happiness?

Lisa: Well, no - based on Scripture. Again, we’ve delineated between what the world defines happiness as - that’s based on your happenstance. You know, when I get into my leather pants - growing up Baptist, I just had to buy leather pants, that’s the rebel in me - when I can actually fit into my leather pants, I’m happy the way the world describes happy - circumstantially happy. But that’s not the way Bible describes happy. The Bible describes happy as our contentment, delight and fulfillment are tied into who God is and how perfectly God loves us. And so that means I can be biblically happy even if I am blowing the seams out of my leather pants.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I’m not laughing here because...

Lisa: Which is usually more the case, usually more the case. But, um, but yeah, I meet people all the time who say, “I don’t have the personality type to be happy.”

Jim: Correct. They don’t see themselves as happy or joyful.

Lisa: Absolutely. And usually they...

Jim: Is that a cop-out?

Lisa: Well, I do not think it’s a cop-out. I do think it’s bad teaching. My friend Christine Caine will say that it’s not based on a personality type, it’s based on a blood type - the blood of Jesus Christ. So if you’ve put your hope in Jesus - biblical happiness is not based on your personality, it’s based on the character of God. So as an introvert, they might not be as demonstrative in their biblical happiness, and therein is the issue. Just because you don’t belly laugh, that doesn’t mean you don’t have biblical happiness. It may be quieter, the way you express it in your life, but are you content? Are you fulfilled? Do you feel delight based on how much you trust the perfect love of God? That is the true barometer of biblical happiness.

Jim: Okay, you and I are two extroverts. Let’s...

Lisa: I know. We are big belly-laughers. Yeah, yeah.

Jim: Let’s ask the introverts.

John: Thank you. That’s what I was just thinking - I’m saying - you’re thinking, “Okay, so I’m the introvert.” And I’ve actually had one daughter of mine - I have three daughters - one of them came up to me and said, “Why aren’t you happy?” And I just looked at her and I said, “I am.” And she couldn’t get it because I wasn’t effusive.

Lisa: That’s right.

John: So what does happiness - how does it get expressed?

Lisa: You know, I’m usually drawn to people who aren’t like me. That’s that iron sharpens iron.

John: Oh, so you - you can get along with me.

Jim: So Lisa and I would never spend time together.

Lisa: Well, we need a Jean. You’ve got two balloons, you need a rock - you need a rock to kind of keep you from flying off. My friends who are introverts who are deeply, truly happy - what I see in them is they don’t have extreme highs and lows. There’s this wonderful sameness. And it’s not that they don’t have a pulse. It’s that they actually live in a place of contentment. They actually live in a place of, “I really feel fulfilled today. I feel that’s what...”

Jim: We just don’t see it.

Lisa: We don’t see it. And you know what? It doesn’t matter if I don’t see it.

Jim: That’s true.

Lisa: What matters is do you feel content in your relationship with Jesus? And if I need you to look like me in order to describe you as happy, then shame on me. I’m missing out on what it really is. So sometimes you’ll have belly laughing. And even for the introverts - like I get tickled, one of my great motivators in life is to make my introverted friends have water in one way or the other. Either laugh so hard they cry or as over...

Jim: No, no, no. No, no, no. It’s milk through the...

Lisa: ...Over-aged women laugh so hard they wet their pants. So one or the other.

Jim: ...It’s milk through the nose. That’s when you’re really laughing.

Lisa: Yeah. Or milk through the nose. That’s right. Milk through the nose is a great one too. But I love seeing people who are less demonstrative have a moment where they do lose control, um, because they are just so tickled. But that’s not always what it looks like. I think sometimes...

John: That’s not the goal.

Lisa: ...Right. And you can have an inner smile that’s a mile wide that will translate to your face just maybe not as loud as it translates to Jim’s and my face.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Hey, Lisa. In fact, you have a story about your daughter Missy. John mentioned Missy, and we talked about that adoption story last time. So if you missed it, get the download or the CD, however we can get that to you. But that’s part of your journey is adopting Missy from Haiti and what you have learned together. But you have a story about Missy and toilet paper, I think, that emphasizes this idea of God’s happiness and how He views us. So let me have that story.

Lisa: Yeah. She - Missy - my little girl’s eight now. I brought her home when she was four and a half from Haiti, two-year adoption journey. And I’m pathologically biased, but I think my kid is, like, the greatest kid in history of time...

Jim: You’re just normal.

Lisa: ...Except for your children, of course. But anyway, the first, you know, six or eight months I had her home from Haiti, she would use such copious amounts of toilet paper because she didn’t have a toilet, much less toilet paper, in Haiti. So she was just enthralled with toilet paper and flushing water. So she would stop up our toilets over and over and over again. And you know, at first it was cute. It was like “Oh, little pumpkin.” But after I’d written one too many checks to the plumber, I was like, “It is getting old to step in the bathroom and be ankle deep in water.” And so I made up little songs about, you know, five squares is where it’s at. More than that...

(LAUGHTER)

You know, all kinds of little rhymes.

Jim: I must say, I’ve never had to do that, but that’s creative!

Lisa: I had, you know - oh, I had all kinds of, you know, rewards if she wouldn’t stop up the toilet with toilet paper. And she just kept on doing it. Well, about two years into this, you know, toilet-tastrophe, I walked into my bedroom one afternoon and - one evening, actually - Missy was in my bathtub. She likes my bathtub because it’s bigger than hers, and she likes to swim in the bathtub. She had bubbles, you know, all the way up to her neck. And she was just such a pumpkin. And I was like, “Hey, baby.” Well, I walked past her and go into where the commode is. And again, step down into water. It’s, like, about two inches below the threshold. And once again, the toilet’s overflowing. And I morph into my mother - I don’t know if you ever do that when you get mad at the boys - but I morph into the way my mother would fuss at me when I messed up when I was little. And I was like, “Dadgummit, Melissa!” Of course, she’s around the corner. She - I can’t see her. And she can’t see me. But we can hear each other. And I said, “Honey, how many times have I told you” - because now it’s been two years, and I’m like, “Honey, if you did stop it up and it was overflowing like this, why didn’t you at least call me so I could come in sooner?” Well, I’m just fussing. And I realize after about 90 seconds, she hasn’t answered me. So I turn around, and I catch this picture - I will never forget it - of my beautiful kid, who’s such a gift from God, sitting in that bubble bath, looking at me with tears streaming down her face. And in that moment, I thought, “Lisa, you yahoo. This is not a character issue. This isn’t Missy misbehaving. This is a plumbing issue.”

(LAUGHTER)

And so as soon - I swooped her out of the bathtub, told her I was sorry, you know, got her to bed. She was fine after I loved on her for a little while. But then I called my contractor. And he was like, “Why are you calling me at 8:30 at night?” And I said “Hey, Jack, ‘member - remember those toilets we talked about they have on cruise ships that can, like, suck your leg off?” You know, those toilets on cruise ships are like “shi-shonk!” Because their - their air pressure?

(LAUGHTER)

I mean, they’ll suck a Coke can out of your hand. And I said, “Can you get one of those for a residential home?” And he was like, “Um, yes.” He said, “If it’s on the first floor.” And I said, “I want one of those in my bathroom. In every bathroom that’s on the first floor of our house, I want one of those.” He was like, “Okay. May I ask why?”

Jim: Could we do that tomorrow?

Lisa: Yeah, he did. I had him do it by the neck, so within 36 hours of the last time Missy clogged our toilet, I had a cruise ship toilet in my bathroom. And the first time Missy used it, I cheered like she had won the Olympics. That’s so...

Jim: Well, first of all, we’re gonna share the number of your plumber.

Lisa: Oh, they’re - it’s amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

Honestly, I’m telling you, these toilets - if you have kids - are just, like, they will...

John: I’ve actually installed one of those toilets, too, so.

Lisa: They’re called, I think, Zurns or something like that. They’re amazing.

Jim: Okay. Okay, let’s move off a little bit.

Lisa: Okay, get past the potty...

John: There’s nothing spiritual and happy about this story.

Lisa: Well, what it taught me, Jim, was - I thought, “You know what? God does not sweat the small stuff in our lives.”

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Lisa: If it’s not about holiness, um, if it’s not about character, when we mess up, we don’t - He’s not standing over us with a ruler about to smack our fingers. He’s like, “Aw, that’s my kid. They’re learning.

Jim: We touched on this last time, maybe from a different angle. So I want to ask it very plainly right now, um, and that is the million-dollar question. How do we get happy, especially if we’ve been on the train of unhappiness for a while?

Lisa: Yeah. Great question. And I’ll boil it down to just three practical takeaways. Focus on God - instead of focusing on your mistakes or what somebody else has done to you, you focus on God. You focus on His perfect love for you.

Jim: I got to ask you, what does that mean?

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: Because you can focus on God, say, “God, take care of that person that’s causing me a wall of pain.”

Lisa: That’s a good qualifier. Let’s say focus on your relationship with God. So not how somebody else is acting as a Christian...

Jim: Just between you and God.

Lisa: ...But you focus on just how much He loves you.

Jim: Good.

Lisa: When you focus on how much He loves you, and then He says, “My plans for you are to give you a hope and a future, not to harm you,” you focus on the promises of God. And I always say it - it’s kind of like, recalibrates my heart. Focus on others - I went through a season where I just realized - you know what? - One of the first things I go to, if I’m pressed is I have a critical spirit. So I’m gonna try to just root this out of my own heart, and I started going, “Okay, I’m gonna start playing a game, just in my own mind, when I’m on a plane,” and that’s where I get most grouchy, and I’m on planes all the time. And I’m like, “If you take my armrest one more time, buddy, I’m gonna punch you in the throat.”

(LAUGHTER)

Lisa: So I thought, how can I be kinder? And I thought, I’m gonna start looking at every single person I come in contact with, even if I don’t know ‘em, as image-bearers of God because even if they don’t know Him, they bear His image. And so I thought, I’m going to start seeing everybody else as God’s thumbprint. It’ll make me treat people differently. Third - this sounds simple - gratitude. When I’m on the road, my - if I show grumpiness, my road manager will say, “Stop and give me 10.”

(LAUGHTER)

She’s not talking about pushups, because that would be scarring for everybody, but I have to stop in that moment and say 10 things in that moment I’m genuinely grateful for. And I’m telling you, if you just express gratitude genuinely, it will turn you.

Jim: It’s true.

Lisa: And it is amazing how it actually puts you in a positive space. I go, “You know what? I really do feel some delight right now, even though they’ve lost our rental car, and even though our flight was delayed, and even though I’m not wearing my skinny pants, I actually feel happy because gratitude realigns my heart.”

Jim: That’s a great one. Stop and give me 10.

Lisa: Yeah. So I say focus on - on God’s love for - your relationship with God, focus on loving others well and then express gratitude.

John: And you can find additional help to get happy. If - if you can’t wait, go ahead and download this broadcast, uh, or go online and order a copy of - of Lisa’s book, The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World. We’ve got that and other helps for you at focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Lisa, the first part of this program’s been lighthearted. I mean, we’ve talked about the toilet story, et cetera.

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: I want to turn a corner. It’s hard to do, and I’m mindful of that. But for the listener, turning that corner toward serious things that happen in life that make me unhappy...

Lisa: Sure.

Jim: ...It could be a diagnosis of cancer...

Lisa: Sure.

Jim: ...It could be the loss of a spouse. People listening right now are going through a variety of things. Some people are in a great place - don’t get me wrong - but I know they are there, too, where they are saying, “God, where are you?”

Lisa: Absolutely.

Jim: And it’s a hard place to be happy. And you don’t want to be phony in that.

Lisa: No.

Jim: You don’t want to just say, “Oh, yeah, or, like...”

Lisa: Or disrespectful.

Jim: “...Loved one has cancer.”

Lisa: Right.

Jim: It’s not normal.

Lisa: Right. Right.

Jim: How do you manage those valleys in life...

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: ...In a way that is genuine but still honoring and glorifying the Lord?

Lisa: Right. I’m so glad you asked that ‘cause actually, what prompted me to start the study of biblical happiness was not “ha-ha” happy. It was actually a really deep season of grief with some of my friends. I have two dear friends who lost children in tragic accidents and two others who went through just really horrific divorces, all in a very short time span. I was walking out of a friend’s house, who had just lost her 13-year-old son, with another friend, and that friend - we were standing in the driveway, just both of us kind of overwhelmed with grief for our other friend who had also lost a child, and she just kind of mused out loud, “How will they ever be happy again?” And that just - I couldn’t get away from that question. I drove home thinking, “How do we hang on to happiness when, inevitably, we will face hardship?” Jesus says that: “In this world, you will have trouble.” Take heart of overcoming the world, but there’s going to be some hardship here. There will be death and cancer and divorce and just some awful things that if you don’t experience personally, people you love will experience it. So how do you hang onto the happiness?

And so that’s when I really started studying, is happiness - biblical happiness - is that incongruent with sadness or badness or horrific pain? And it’s not, Jim. I mean, if you study scripture, you look at people like Hannah. Hannah was devastated by infertility, but if you really peruse her story, you see this - even though she grieved. I mean, she grieved loud in church.

Jim: Give us the story so people driving don’t have to turn...

Lisa: It’s, uh, 1 Samuel. There’s this girl named Hannah, and she’s got a sister wife - this was back when polygamy was the norm - named Peninnah, who is a total rat fink. And Peninnah has a bunch of kids. And one of the saddest verses in scriptures - and Hannah had none. So Hannah’s struggled with fertility. I won’t take up too much time to share the story, but basically, Peninnah rubs it in over and over and over again. Like, she makes Hannah drive to Costco.

Jim: I’m a mother, you’re not.

Lisa: She gets Pampers. Oh, yeah.

Jim: Yeah, right.

Lisa: She just total ‘tude. Hannah, year after year, is just devastated. And she gets to the point of crying so loud in church the priest thinks she’s had one too many mimosas on her way to worship. And she says to him, “No, I’m just grieving before the Lord.” And that’s another thing for us to understand, as we talk about being honest with the Lord, there aren’t emotions that are good emotions and bad emotions in the economy of God. I think, usually, we kind of try to pretend we don’t feel extremely sad or extremely mad because it’s like, “Ooh, God won’t be pleased with that one. I just have to put on the fake happy face.”

Jim: He knows your heart.

Lisa: That’s right. That’s not biblically sound. Good theology is you bring all of who you are to who God is. But anyway, Hannah expresses this deep grief. And ultimately, God gives her a son. As a matter of fact, his name, Samuel, means “God hears”, which I love that. He does hear everything we grieve about. But it’s a long time and coming. Was Hannah not happy when she was grieving? No, because the biblical definition of happiness is to be content and fulfilled in Christ. So you can simul - and Scripture - actually some scriptures that supports this - you can simultaneously grieve and feel contentment in who God is at the same time.

Jim: Yeah.

Lisa: You can grieve and - and not - not be able to see God’s sovereign grace. Be like, “Good night, Lord, this is really hard.” But if you hang on to God, you see it in the life of Job. If you hang onto God, even if you don’t understand or disagree with His timetable in your life, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your happiness.

Jim: Yeah.

Lisa: It means, in that season, you’re not expressing it in a way of where it looks happy. It just may be that low-level fulfillment. And I trust Him, even though I can’t see around the corner of my circumstances.

Jim: Yeah.

Lisa: You know, I lost two adoptions before Missy. In the context of biblical happiness, I did not lose my happiness. I was devastated. I cried. I was disappointed, but I knew that somehow, some way, even if God didn’t allow me to be a mom, I knew He loved me more than I could imagine. And I thought, even though I think the best for me was to have one of these two children, I have to trust blindly that His best is better than my biggest dreams.

Jim: Let’s look at the other side of that coin. Because I know, here at Focus, you know, we hear from people where their marriages are breaking up.

Lisa: Sure.

Jim: Uh, someone’s been unfaithful - whatever the circumstance. And sometimes Christian people - and let me speak to us believers first and foremost - we begin to make excuses: “I would be happier...”

Lisa: Sure.

Jim: “...if I weren’t in this marriage or if I had a different set of circumstances...”

Lisa: Right.

Jim: “...And I feel God releasing me - let me use the language - to go do that, so that...”

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: “...I could be happy.”

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: Talk about the danger of that. And what is the typical outcome of that attitude?

Lisa: Well, again, that’s not biblical happiness. You’re talking about emotional elevation there. You’re talking about “I would be happier”. And you’re saying, “I would feel less stressed, I would feel more free, I would get more of my motives met, my desires met.” That’s not biblical happiness. That’s happiness that the world talks about. That is an elevated sense of emotion, which is what I feel when I have a lot of carbs. That’s not biblical happiness.

Jim: But that’s interesting. These compete. And we’ve got to...

Lisa: They do compete.

Jim: ...be discerning...

Lisa: They do compete.

Jim: ...to understand, as a mature believer...

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: ...when we’re being baited by our own emotions or...

Lisa: That’s right.

Jim: ...by the enemy.

Lisa: Well, I will say it boils down to this: biblical happiness - the pursuit of biblical happiness will never ever cause you to walk away from the tenets of Scripture because God gives us the perfect parameters for not just holy living but happy living - biblically happy living. So if you say, “Well, I’ve got to do this in order to be happy,” I’m like, “Well, that’s a lie you’ve believed.”

Jim: Especially if it’s counter to the word of God.

Lisa: It can’t be counter...

Jim: Right.

Lisa: ...to the word of God. And anybody, who’s a Christ follower, who thinks happiness, he or she will find it doing or being involved in something that’s counter to the word of God, will find out very, very quickly there is such emptiness in this. And, again, that’s where I think that we have to get that fulfillment part of the definition of biblical happiness. Because I meet tons and tons of people who paint smiles on things or go, “I’m really happy now that I’m with my,” you know, “this person I left my husband for.” And I’m like, “Honey, you are the least peaceful and the least content woman I’ve ever met. That’s not happiness.”

Jim: And it’s hard. I get it. And I...

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: I know people might want to email or get a hold of us because they’ve had a different experience.

Lisa: Sure.

Jim: I’m just wanting to raise this - I think God’s best for us is what...

Lisa: Right.

Jim: ...He defines for us in His word.

Lisa: Absolutely.

Jim: And I get that, and I know that there are unique circumstances in...

Lisa: Right.

Jim: ...every way. But...

Lisa: And we’re...

Jim: ...it’s important to know...

Lisa: ...not saying God can’t redeem.

Jim: Right.

Lisa: Because people get outside the will of God. And let’s just say, you know, they...

Jim: Right.

Lisa: ...they do have a divorce that was not on biblical grounds. They remarry. And they go, “But now I actually do have fulfillment.”

Jim: Now you need to press forward.

Lisa: But they would go, “You know what? God has redeemed my story.” So I think redeemed happiness is very different from I get it if I leave the will of God. It’s like, no...

Jim: Emotional happiness, as you said.

Lisa: ...God - exactly.

Jim: That’s good.

Lisa: And God will redeem even if we’ve sinned and get to a place - if we - if we repent, God will redeem it and you will have biblical happiness again. But you don’t get contentment and fulfillment by going away from the will and the word of God.

John: Lisa, for the person who is - Jim, you mentioned this earlier - you know, dealing with cancer or...

Lisa: Yeah.

John: ...Something else external...

Lisa: Yeah.

John: ...It’s not wandering away from God’s will.

Lisa: Right.

John: Um, I mean, it’s natural to want those circumstances to be lifted off of us...

Lisa: Oh...

John: ...Right?

Lisa: ...Absolutely.

John: And - and so help me because there’s somebody that’s saying, well, all right, it’s not - it’s not...

Lisa: Yeah.

John: ...That. I’d just prefer these things be gone...

Lisa: Yeah.

John: ...Because I think I can be happier...

Lisa: Yeah.

John: ...If I don’t have that in my face.

Lisa: Well, I think - here’s the deal - that’s where you recognize this world isn’t our home. Um, one of my very dear friends is in the latter stages of cancer and is one of the most joyful, godly, amazing women I know - has 11 grandchildren. And I’ll have lunch with her this Monday. When I drive up to her house, her front yard is littered with her grandchildren’s toys. So until God takes her home - and it likely will be soon - she sees those grandchildren swinging on the swings and driving those Jeeps in her front yard, even through her hydrangeas. And she squeezes every bit of joy out of every bit of time God has left for her here. Does she wish He would have removed cancer? Of course, as does her family. But does she trust that God is good, and He does good, even given the fact that He hasn’t healed or physically? Yes. And so that’s why I think we’ve got to remember - remember, when Moses stood next to Jesus - a glorified Jesus smack dab in the middle of the Promised Land - he wasn’t in his jar of clay. He had been buried on Nebo. And so it was after that when everybody was - said, “Boy, that isn’t fair. Poor old Moses. You know, he was a good guy, I mean, except for the murder rap.” And he didn’t get to set foot in the Promised Land. And you go, “No, he actually did make it to the Promised Land. It’s just he was in his glorified body.” And so we see through the lens of time and space - Paul says, “We see through the glass dimly.” God’s plan for us is not trapped by just our time and space that we see now. And I think that’s where, as a mature Christ follower, we have to recognize my ultimate happiness is not based on today or tomorrow. It’s based on timelessness.

Jim: Well, I mean, Lisa - and we’re right at the end, speaking of timelessness. But what an appropriate tone to end on. The one thing that’s true - and I would speak to the unbeliever. You know, you’re not a Christian. I know you’re listening, and we appreciate that. The Scripture talks about our lives being like grass.

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: It grows, it withers...

Lisa: Like a vapor.

Jim: ...And it dies. It’s a vapor. Our life is a vapor. If you don’t know Christ, that’s the place to start.

Lisa: That’s right.

Jim: And, uh - and the fact that is death will take each one of us...

Lisa: Yeah.

Jim: ...Nobody - kings, princes, paupers - nobody gets away...

Lisa: That’s right.

Jim: ...From that gateway. Everybody has to go through that door.

Lisa: That’s right. 

Closing:

Jim: And, uh - whether it’s through cancer or an accident or whatever happens. And the difference should be Christians are prepared. We know we’re moving on to eternal life in Christ. And, uh, boy, if you are not there, I want to encourage you to call us here at Focus on the Family to talk to a counselor. If you’re a believer, and you’re struggling with that sense of happiness and joy, uh, what Lisa has expressed these last couple of days, we want you to call us as well because God does have a joyful, happy expression for you. He loves you. He cared enough about you to die for you. And I think that at least would, uh, require some investigation about the character of God - maybe a little deeper...

Lisa: That’s right.

Jim: ...Than you’ve gone before. And, uh, we want to be there for you.

John: Yeah, I so appreciate, Lisa, you’re, uh, bringing that fresh perspective of who God is. And this is a great book - The Sacrament of Happy: What a Smiling God Brings to a Wounded World. Um, get a copy of that. Call us and ask about how you can have a relationship with Christ. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And then online, at focusonthefamily.com/radio, we have a little booklet that ties right into what Jim was talking about. It’s called Coming Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family. And tens of thousands of people have read this and had a clear understanding of what the spiritual life is all about. We’ll encourage you to look for that at the website, as well.

Jim: And let me say, too, if you’ve benefited from the conversation and want to join us in ministry to reach others - and I know that will be the motivation for some - uh, let me invite you to become a monthly financial supporter to Focus on the Family. When you donate to our work here, uh, you are part of reaching people with the gospel and saving marriages. We may be here physically, but you’re with us in spirit. And with that support, you’re part of it. I know the Lord sees it that way. Help us reach people and change their trajectory. I mean, that, to me, is what, uh, gets me up every day. And today, with your pledge of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of Lisa’s book The Sacrament of Happy as our way of saying thank you. And if you cannot afford it, man, you’re in, too. Just get a hold of us. We’ll get it to you. And others will cover the cost of that I’m sure. But thank you for standing with us and being a part of reaching people in the name of Christ.

John: Yeah, we cannot do this without your prayers and your contributions. And we really do ask you to consider a monthly donation of any amount or a one-time gift of any amount, and when you do make that donation at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800-A-FAMILY, we’ll send that book out to you as our way of expressing our gratitude for your support and care.

Well, join us next time as we hear from Dr. Tony Evans. He’ll encourage singles to trust God.

Teaser:

Tony Evans: And if you are walking with God, and you believe in His providential hand, then you have to also believe that your life is in His hands.

End of Teaser
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Guest

Lisa Harper

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Lisa Harper is a respected Bible teacher and popular public speaker who addresses audiences at events and churches all over the world. She formerly served as the director of Focus on the Family's Women's Ministries and created the Renewing the Heart women's conference. Lisa holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. She has authored a dozen books including A Perfect Mess and Believing Jesus. Learn more about Lisa by visiting her website.