Summary: People who yield to God’s control experience well-being.
Title: Out of Control
Text: Matthew 5:5
Truth: People who yield to God’s control experience well-being.
Aim: To lead them to submit to God.
Victor Hugo, who is famous for his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, also so wrote a story called “Ninety-Three.” It tells of a ship caught in a dangerous storm on the high seas. At the height of the storm, the frightened sailors heard a terrible crashing noise below the deck. They knew at once that this new noise came from a cannon, a part of the ship’s cargo, which had broken loose. It was moving back and forth with the swaying of the ship, crashing into the side of the ship with terrible impact. Knowing that it could cause the ship to sink, two brave sailors volunteered to make the dangerous attempt to retie the loose cannon. They knew the danger of a shipwreck from the cannon was greater than the fury of the storm.
That is like human life. Storms of life may blow about us, but it is not these exterior storms that pose the greatest danger. It is the terrible corruption that can exist within us which can overwhelm us. The furious storm outside may be overwhelming but what is going on inside can pose the greater threat to our lives. Our only hope lies in conquering that wild enemy. (sermons.com)
We cannot cure the storm that rages within us. It takes the power of God’s love, as revealed in Christ Jesus. It is only as the character of Christ is formed within that we have any hope of stilling the raging tempest that can harm our souls and shipwreck our lives.
Jesus is at the beginning of his ministry. It is filled with miracles and a message to repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. He is very popular at this time. Once a person has entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, what’s next? He is to develop the character of His Master and Savior. This character is described for us in the Beatitudes.
What does it mean to be “blessed?” Do you remember the joy and peace you felt inwardly when you were saved or you repented of a deep conviction of sin? It was awareness that you were right with God. Your circumstances hadn’t changed, but everything had changed inwardly. It was a blessed condition. Wouldn’t you like to be able to hang on to that for extended periods of time? The way that happens is to develop these eight Christlike characteristics. Blessed means to be favored by God.
Jesus not only describes them as being filled with an inner sense of joy and peace because they are right with God, but He pledges to reward them for it. Nine times he holds out the condition of blessedness. After each character trait He promises them some kind of reward. I take it that Jesus is greatly desirous that His followers make it a priority to be this kind of person.
The magazine, Psychology Today, sent out a questionnaire asking two questions: “What is happiness?” and “How do you obtain happiness?” The results were interesting and informative. From the responses to the questionnaire they discovered that happiness is not dependent on prosperity. What people had or did not have, whether they were rich or poor, made no difference in determining whether or not a person was happy. They found out if you were prosperous, you might be a little more comfortable in your misery, but that it is not what made a person happy.
Another thing they found out was pleasure does not make a person happy. People might do a lot of things to entertain themselves—beer parties, ball games, vacations—all would bring some temporary relief, but pleasure in and of itself could not make a person happy.
People were looking for happiness, and that is not a bad pursuit. I, personally, believe God wants us happy. The Bible uses the word joy. Joyful Christians are a terrific testimony to the glory of Christ. So it is not the pursuit that was bad. The problem was where they looked for happiness.
Here is the conclusion they drew. Tell me if this is not what Jesus is talking about in the Beatitudes. Happiness is not found in having. Happiness is not found in feeling. Happiness is found in being. Pursue this kind of character and Jesus promises to reward you with a blessed life.
Today, we are looking at the third beatitude: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The outline of the message is very simple. First, “What Does Meekness Mean?” and second, “What Does Meekness Gain?”
I. WHAT DOES MEEKNESS MEAN?
It’s important to understand this word to understand what Jesus is saying. Words have a way of changing meanings. In 1900 “rap” meant to strike or hit; in 1930 it meant the punishment for a crime; in 1960 it meant a discussion; in 1990 it meant a kind of music. What a word meant in 1611 when the KJV of the Bible was written might be different from the meaning of the same word today.