God’s with you in the process. In “The Best Strategy For Happiness,” Pastor Steven Furtick teaches us how to navigate the unfinished parts of our lives that can keep us stuck in one place. This is an excerpt from “My Joy Is My Job.” To watch the full message from @elevationchurch , click here:    • My Joy Is My Job | Pastor Steven Furt…   #faith #peace #hope #stevenfurtick #elevationchurch Chapters: 0:00 – That’s A Bad Strategy For Happiness 2:08 – Don’t Let Pressure Postpone Your Joy 5:05 – You Can Be Free Right Now 7:20 – It’s A Process 9:47 – Struggling? Don’t Isolate Scripture References: Acts 16, verse 25

I want to learn how to be sitting in something
that’s unfinished and still be fulfilled.

I want to learn how to be able to say,
“I’ve got something to be happy about

even though the job’s not finished.” In the
words of that famous hymn writer Bon Jovi,

we’re halfway there. Whoa-oh. I’m halfway
there. Yeah. I’ve got two wins. So,

while Kobe’s strategy may be an excellent strategy
for sports, it is a bad strategy for happiness.

For you to focus on what
is unfinished in your life,

the unfinished business of your spiritual
growth, the underdeveloped areas of your

character that still aren’t as far along
as you wish they were, the unfinished

business enterprises that you don’t yet know if
they’re going to turn out good or turn out bad…

For you to focus on the unfinished is to
diminish the gift of this, this right here,

this right now, this breath, this
sermon, this moment, this gathering,

this praise, this opportunity, this
new day, this season, this moment,

this person, this relationship, this
effort, this breath, this right here.

So, I’m headed somewhere, and I’m excited
about it, and I’m working on something,

because I’m not complacent, but, O God, teach
me to be content while I’m in it. Time travel

to the year AD 50 with me. Let’s get out of
2009. We’re going to party like it’s AD 50 in

the church today. But first, in order to get
to the party, we have to go through the pain.

I need to speak to you a little bit today
about the danger of postponing joy. Don’t

let the pressure make you postpone the
joy. Isn’t that what Kobe was trying to

say? “No. I’ve still got to get us to
game… We’ve got to win four of these,

not two, so I can’t smile at you right
now.” And it’s a genius press conference

strategy for a sound bite. I mean, let’s be
honest. We’re still talking about it today.

But it is a horrible way for you to approach
raising your kids. “The job’s not finished.”

When will it be? When do you think
it’s going to be finished? Do you

think you’re going to send them off
and they’re going to be finished?

There is a boomerang anointing on your children.
They come right back. When will it be finished?

“What’s there to be happy about? I still don’t
have a job. I’ve been looking for four months.”

But when you get a job, can’t you lose it? “Well,
see, I’m single right now. When I meet my Boaz,

I will be blessed and highly favored.” And
all the married people said, “Ha, ha!” Unless

you marry Holly. Then you will be finally,
eternally happy. But she’s off the market.

The thing about it is if you postpone your joy
because of the pressure, you will never give God

praise. If you think there is a future date where
you will be… Key word. I’m going to teach you for

a little bit. “When I’m free from this and I
have more time…” “When I’m free from this and

I don’t struggle so much…” “When I’m free from
this and it’s not a temptation anymore…” “When

I’m free from this…” Do not shout, “Amen.” “When I
am free from this relationship…” If you’re sitting

next to them, go quiet. Just go dark right
now. Just look really confused as I preach.

“If it wasn’t for them, if it wasn’t for
this…” It would amaze you how many people

are waiting to be free from something because
they think they’re going to feel something when

they’re free from something. What I have to
learn how to do in my life (and I suggest it

is the task of all of us who walk by faith
and not by sight) is to be free unfinished.

To know “Okay. Well, my money
isn’t where I want it to be,

but my marriage is. My marriage isn’t where
I want it to be, but my relationship with

God is growing. My relationship with God isn’t
where I want it to be, but I’m in church today,

Devil. Did you see me show up with my
good clothes on, wearing green?” Come

on. Pinch somebody really quick and say, “I
just wanted to get one in.” Pinch yourself

really quick. Some of you need to wake up
and realize all of the things God has done.

You are sitting there not smiling, not
shouting, not celebrating, waiting on

something else good to happen. When would be a
good time for you to praise him? “I will bless

the Lord at all times.” All means all. Bless him
means bless him. Bless him right now. Bless him,

my brother! Bless him, my sister!
Bless him, my friend! Bless him!

The Bible says the jailer was commanded,
“Hey, watch out for these two. Watch out

for these guys. They’re turning our city upside
down. Watch out for them.” That’s why the Devil

has had you contained. That’s why the Devil is
trying to constrain you with anxiety. That’s

why the Devil is trying to press you down with
depression: because there’s something in you.

The attack against you only indicates the
potential that is within you. That’s all it

is. So, what are you going to do about it,
Paul? This must have shocked everybody who

saw him in those shackles. It’s about midnight,
the Bible says, which is a bad time. It’s a bad

time to go out. It’s a bad time to be awake if
you’re in. I want to be in my bed at 9:45 p.m.,

Eastern Standard Time, every night. It
is a product of this stage of my life.

As the process of day gives way to the process of
night, something very interesting happens. Now,

the jailer was commanded to
Paul and Silas as their guard,

but the Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 that you
are to guard your heart above all else. So,

while the jailer is guarding Paul, we see
that Paul was apparently guarding Paul too.

If at this point he has allowed bitterness to
seep into his heart because this isn’t fair,

and if at this point he has allowed uncertainty
to paralyze him, he is not going to do what he

does next. The Bible says, “About midnight
Paul and Silas were praying and singing

hymns to God, and the other prisoners
were listening to them.” It’s a process.

When you’re going through things in your life and
the unfinished business and realizing, “It’s a

process. I’m a process. Recovery is a process.
Wealth building is a process. Holiness is a

process. Relational intimacy is a process. Showing
up is a process. Staying put is a process. Day

is a process. Night is a process.” The birth of
day includes the process of the coming of night.

At midnight, Paul and Silas started praying
and singing. If I could give that guard one

word of advice, it would be “You made a
mistake, not when you put their feet in

the shackles. You made a mistake, not when
you put them in the inner cell. That’s the

most secure part of the prison. I understand
you were doing what you were supposed to do.”

I wouldn’t even tell the guard he
made a mistake when he went to sleep,

because you’ll see in just a few verses
that he actually was dozed off over there

in the corner somewhere. That’s fine, too,
because their feet were in shackles. “But

the mistake you made was putting them
together in the same cell. If you would

have kept them in isolation, they would
have processed this pain differently.

If you would have kept them separated, Paul
would have started processing, ‘Well, maybe

God doesn’t want us over here in Europe.’ If you
would have kept Paul in isolation in his own cell,

he would have started processing, ‘Why
does life have to be so hard for me? God,

you got Peter out of prison. You can’t keep
me out of prison?'” If he would have kept him

in isolation, maybe he would have started
comparing it to the last time he preached.

Maybe, if he would have kept Paul in isolation,
he would have gone into self-pity. Maybe,

if he would have kept Silas in isolation, he
would have sabotaged, but the Bible says he

did one thing wrong. He put them in the cell. The
Devil did one thing wrong this morning. He let you

get to Elevation Church at 11701 Elevation
Point Drive on St. Patrick’s Day of 2024.

He put you next to somebody who is about
to pinch you, look you in the eye, and say,

“Wake up! God is with us.” Clap your hands if
you know God is with you in the process. I’m

speaking over your life. God is with you in
the process. God is with you when it’s 2-0,

when it’s 0-2, when it’s game four,
game five, game six, game seven.

God is with me in the post-game analysis,
because he’s with me in the process. I want

to make sure the way you are processing
the unfinished places in your life,

the way you are processing
the imperfect parts of you,

the way you are processing the parts of
your life that do not match your preference…

I want to make sure your process
doesn’t become your prison.