The advisory pastor of City Harvest Church brought a message of happiness to its congregation.
On the National Day weekend of Aug 9 and 10, CHC’s advisory pastor Phil Pringle delighted the congregation with a timely message on the power of happiness, and how essential it is in every believer’s walk with God.
Pringle is the founder and president of C3 Global Network of churches, a thriving movement of more than 200 churches worldwide and the senior pastor of C3 Church in Oxford Falls in Sydney, Australia.
“Happy is the man whose Lord is their God, a happy man is one who puts their entire faith and trust in God,” said Pringle, quoting Psalm 146:5.
Pringle started off by playing the hit song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The atmosphere of the service was cheery, as the congregation clapped along. The advisory pastor then started his sermon by saying: “Happiness in the world is extremely popular, because the rest of the world is extremely depressed.”
“As Christians, we cannot excuse ourselves from happiness because of our circumstances,” said Pringle. “The Bible has an ‘in spite of’ clause that demands us to live a happy life in all circumstances. A lot of Christians could do with being a lot happier, and not being so serious and rigid about their life.”
ROADBLOCKS TO HAPPINESS
The word “blessed” in the Bible is defined as “happy”, said Pringle, explaining this in the context of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5: 3-12: “Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” He brought across the point that happiness is not about one’s circumstance, but happiness is an attitude.
In Philippians 4:11, Paul said that he learned to be content in whatever state he was in. The word “content” here is happy, Pringle taught. “People are always happy when they get upgrades in life. Things that pick you up instantly make you feel better, but Paul was speaking of the bad things, learning instead to abound and abase.”
Pringle used this to encourage the congregation that as Christians, they needed to learn how to “change gear” in life so that they can learn to smile at all times.
The advisory pastor then shared three roadblocks to happiness that easily come upon every Christian’s life due to the devil’s attack.
Pringle referred to 1 John 2:11, which states that he who hates his brother is in darkness and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. Explaining that a person cannot hate somebody and be happy at the same time, the preacher said that it is impossible to be full of hate and full of happiness.
“Hatred blinds your vision; your vision gives hope. Hope is the roots of happiness, a confident expectation about what is going to happen,” Pringle expounded.
Pringle used the story of King Saul and David to illustrate. Saul was a controlling, overbearing ruler, who was faced with a competitor for his position of authority—a young man named David. Saul lost all his happiness, as he watched David, a rising star, gain fame and popularity. Because of his hatred for David, Saul opened a door for demonic spirits to have strongholds in his life. As a result, Saul started throwing spears and committing murder in the temple.
Pringle went on to point out that although David was Saul’s reason for harbouring hatred, David was also the answer to Saul’s depression. The answer to Saul’s depression was music. Pringle concluded that when you have depression, the one thing that takes it away is worship. The worship music David played only dealt with the symptoms and not the root of the depression. We can get rid of the feelings, through a spiritual medication called worship, the demons are dispersed, but the root problem of hatred may not have been dealt with.
Anger and happiness cannot dwell in the same heart, said Pringle. He explained that this is because anger creates a heavy atmosphere.
“Be a person who brings a lightweight atmosphere into a situation,” he encouraged the congregation.
Pringle states that the key to the church taking cities in the world lies in Proverbs 16:32. “If we can control our attitude and not let other people manipulate us into angry hateful decisions, if we can rise above it and be seated with Christ, we will find ourselves taking the cities of this world.”
“You will find yourself, City Harvest Church, being tested to the limit on your attitudes” Pringle proclaimed, and he encouraged the church to be “a happy people, a happy church”.
Pringle warned the members against the belief in one’s entitlement.
“When people feel the world owes them something, they will feel sorry for themselves when it is not delivered. You cannot feel sorry for yourself and be happy at the same time,” he pointed out.
The kind of people who struggle with this are not young Christians or backsliders, Pringle cautioned the church, but long-time Christians who may even be doing mighty things for God. He quoted the mighty man Elijah, who suffered from depression the day after bringing the most mighty revival to the nation of Israel.
There is a lot of energy that goes out when one delivers the Word of the Lord, said Pringle. Billy Graham was measured for his energy expenditure while preaching, and it was found that in one hour of ministering, he expended the amount of energy equivalent to eight hours of digging coal. This is the reason why Elijah was exhausted and depressed, explained Pringle.
Pringle highlighted that it takes more faith to rest than to work, as it requires trust in God that He will take care of everything.
“God is looking after my things, while I am looking after His,” said Pringle.
The pastor closed his message with an altar call for new believers and backsliders to come back to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and many responded.
Kiran Panju, 23, a School of Theology student, said, “I always thought happiness was a feeling, after hearing Pastor Phil’s sermon, I understood it is a character that can be developed.”
Church member Sabrina Soong, 19, said “I felt Pastor Phil gave a word in season for our church during this period of the trial. Happiness is essential for us to be able to enjoy God’s life and to be happy is to display holiness in our lives!”
In case you missed our interview with Phil Pringle, read it here.