Summary: Discover happiness and God’s plan of salvation in the Beatitudes.
Guaranteed, Money-Back, Surefire Secret of Happiness!
If I were to tell you that I had a guaranteed, sure-fire method to find true happiness and that I would give you double your money back if it did not work, then how much would you be willing to pay for the secret? I’m thinking about starting an email business and recruit people to send out email messages. You’ve probably gotten some emails that look like this.
If you had to guess, what would you guess would be the percentage of people in the world who would say that they were "happy"? Would the percentage be any different for “small-town rural America” versus a large city? Would it be any different for the rich versus the poor?
Maybe we should back up and, as a first step, answer the question of "what is happiness?" What would YOU say "happiness" is? It would likely be different than how your neighbor would define it. If a definition is what we need, then we can check out the word in the dictionary. This is what I found for the word
“HAPPY” Favored by luck or fortune.
I am still amazed that “being happy” has anything to do with luck. So I looked at some other words in the same area of the dictionary and found there is a word “hap.” It means “good luck.” That would fit in with the word “hapless” meaning “to have no luck.” That also fits in with the meaning of the word “happen” - to occur by chance.
Now, I have a real problem with my email business: How can I guarantee something that is controlled by chance? Maybe the Bible can give us some insight to being happy. I looked up the word “happy” in the Bible and found that it is used about 28 times in the KJV.
Both in the Hebrew and in the Greek, the words that are sometimes translated “happy” are most often (about 70 times) translated “blessed.” Maybe we are on to something: The secular world thinks that happiness is a result of chance and luck and the Biblical viewpoint is that happiness is a result of being blessed. To explain the difference all we need to do is to answer the question: “Where do blessings come from?” The answer to this question depends on your world view:
1. If you think that creation and everything that occurs was and is a result of some statistical probability rather than a deliberate act of a Creator God, then everything is a result of chance.
2. On the other hand, if we believe that a Loving God created everything that IS and that He is the Source of all our blessings, then we should be asking the question, “How can we be blessed by God?”
We can find the answer to that question. One of the more familiar passages in the Bible where the word "blessed" appears frequently is in the teachings of Jesus commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount. What Jesus outlined that day to those people who were following Him is, in my estimation, that surefire, guaranteed method of finding true blessedness which is the source of happiness.
When we talk about the Sermon on the Mount, many people remember only the stark demands of "turn the other cheek" and "go the second mile"; however, we want to examine those verses referred to as the Beatitudes in which we find the prescription for success in life.
Matt 5:1 ¶ And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 ¶ Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
MATTHEW 5:1,2 Why were there crowds following Jesus?
The news of the ministry of Jesus in healing the sick and casting out demons had gotten around and there were crowds of people who needed and were seeking help. They would gather around Him wherever He went. This provided Jesus with an opportunity to teach the people and especially those who were disciples of this new Teacher. Most of the people in the land where Jesus walked and taught were downtrodden, poor, and had little of the luxuries that we consider to be necessities in life. And yet, they were interested in finding a better life (happiness or blessedness) for themselves. So Jesus taught them how to live life successfully.