THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

happiness-beatitudes

Thoughts From The Sermon On The Mount

Some years ago a reporter asked actor Harrison Ford if he was satisfied and happy.  The reporter anticipated a quick, positive response—after all his movies had grossed over one billion in sales and in many respects he was at the top of his craft. Mr. Ford shocked the reporter with his reply. He said, “Son, I don’t even know anyone who is happy.”

It is a sad and far-too-common story. Many report they are not as happy as they would like to be. Some think that becoming a Christian will make life easy and joyfulthat it is simply an acknowledgement of Christ, rather than a change of heart, perspective and priorities,  that brings happiness.       Over my more than 30 years of ministry work I have seen more than a few fade out of church life because they thought that being a Christian would ensure happiness, and when that was not the reality, depression set in.  If I may offer a humble opinion here, this is how I think it works: Becoming a Christian does not ensure a easy life, but a redeemed life. It does not ensure continual happiness but eternal hope.   When one becomes a Christian, they are forgiven, redeemed, promised victory in spiritual battle and blessed with the hope of heaven. However, in the here and now, believers are to sacrifice, serve, and at times, suffer. This was the reality for Jesus Christ and Scripture notes that the servant is not to expect more or better than the Master

But thought Christians are promised trials (John 16:33), they are also promised joy (Romans 15:13), and a peace that surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:6-7). The key to being able to experience this joy and peace begins by recognizing that they come from the Master—not material things. True joy and peace are not linked to the things of this world, but to our spiritual work, walk and future.  This is the foundation for the Lord’s teaching often referred to as the Beatitudes.  This teaching, which is a part of the Sermon on the Mount, notes the kind of heart and perspective that facilitates happiness—even in the midst of trial and tribulation.

It is true that happiness can seem to be illusive, but Jesus wants to help. Through His teaching, and His life example, we find helps and insight regarding how to live a life that is marked by a clear sense of purpose, and happiness.     Though Jesus encountered many difficulties and challenges, the Bible presents Jesus as being positive, optimistic and happy. I believe He wants this for you too. May God bless you with joy and peace as you strive to live for Him.

STUDY NOTES ARE PRESENTED BELOW

THE CALL TO BE HAPPY:

  • God, has chosen you and has poured out more happiness on you than on any other king. Psalm 45:7b (GN)
  • You that are righteous, be glad and rejoice because of what the LORD has done. (Psalm 32:11)
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Phil. 4:4)

 

WHY SOME ARE NOT ‘SATISFIED’ (V.6)

  • Some see the cup as being half empty, rather than half full ( 4:8)
  • Some grumbled against—rather than praying for (2 Tim. 2:1-3)
  • Some focus on what they don’t have and are never content ( 4:11-13
  • Some look for satisfaction in pleasure 1:8 (LB); Heb.11:25
  • Some look for satisfaction in performance   2:23 (LB), 2:21 (GN)
  • Some look for satisfaction in possessions 5:10 (LB)

 

IN THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (Strategies)

  • Seek happiness in the Lord Psalm 37:4 (GN)
  • Know what you hunger for Deuteronomy 8:3 (LB)
  • Do not settle for second best (Isaiah 55:2, 48:17)
  • Know and pursue, what is best (John 8:35, 51)
  • Know that God is with you, and for you (Ex. 33:19; Heb. 13:5b-6; Gen. 28:18)

 

 

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