If you are interested in learning more about how to apply God’s truths to the challenging and difficult circumstances of your life to live a more joy-filled life despite them, consider listening to the following sermons delivered by Dr. Caldwell:
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Choosing Joy – A Biblical Perspective on Happiness and Suffering
As people who live in a fallen world and fallen bodies, even if we are saved, we can find ourselves facing discouragement, feeling despondent, and even depressed from time to time. When we think of Romans 8:28, which often gets thrown around when a challenging difficulty comes to our lives, how can we understand how it applies to us? Doesn’t God want us to be happy and to thrive? How can Christians think biblically through these things as part of God’s overall plan? What can we do when these feelings and emotions run amuck in us? Is there a way to deal with them that honors and glorifies God while we struggle through them? Join us on the Straight Truth Podcast this week as Dr. Josh Philpot presents Dr. Richard Caldwell with these questions, seeking biblical answers to help us understand these sometimes intense and challenging feelings and emotions. But they also seek to encourage us about how to live our lives when burdened with these kinds of sufferings.
Dr. Caldwell says if we understand happiness as a feeling, we will be confused about what the Bible commands us to do. We are commanded to rejoice and to rejoice regardless of our circumstances. But that rejoicing will not be fulfilled in the realm of our emotions. Joy is a choice we must make, where we agree with God, believe God, submit to Him, and rest in Him amid our circumstances. This is what enables us to know joy, even in sadness. Dr. Caldwell shares about the passing of his father and the emotions and feelings he dealt with in those moments, hours, and days. He explains that while he experienced profoundly sad things, even so, there was a supernatural, almost unrepeatable joy.
Dr. Caldwell says God’s goal for us is not happiness but holiness. We have been destined for conformity to the image of Christ. It's through everything we experience in life that we are being conformed to His image. This is how Romans 8:28 figures into God’s plan. Everything we go through is being used to shape, mold, and form us into the very likeness of Christ. The Lord uses sickness, health, new life, loss of life, discouragement, despondency, depression, and many other difficulties in our lives, to bring about our transformation. And yes, some of these things might be life-long burdens to carry. Whatever it is that we face, whenever we are called to face it, we are called to glorify God right there. Every realm of life presents us with the opportunity to glorify God.
We are all wired differently, and some will have a burden to carry because of how they are wired that others don’t. Some people are more outgoing, and others are more introspective. Some people are more upbeat, and others are more downcast or melancholy. In these and other ways, there are going to be challenges that must be dealt with according to the Word of God. Our flesh, our bodies, and our minds remain affected by sin. Some of our natural tendencies can be sinful, and they need to be overcome by mortifying them and walking according to truth. The emotional realm is another area where we will battle with these tendencies. Some may struggle their entire lives with depression and discouragement, much like Charles Spurgeon and William Cowper. But, what we do is take how we’ve been affected by the fall, and we glorify God by not allowing these sorts of natural wirings under sin to be what determines how we live. We must take what we are going through and compare it with the Word of God. We need to see the truth, grasp an eternal perspective and bow to Scripture. So we have to be intentionally and consistently bowing our minds and hearts to truth as it has been revealed in God’s Holy Word and as it’s found in Jesus Christ. We turn our focus away from us and away from our emotions to the Lord, and we find our delight and our joy in Him. None of this can be measured by our emotions. Emotions are fickle things. It’s in the realm of our choices, our decisions, and our devotions where delight and joy are really manifested. God has made us emotional creatures, so our emotions will affect our feelings. But joy is not determined by how we feel. Joy is determined by decision.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
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