This week I want to look at Happiness and Joy. Moreover TRUE happiness and Joy. The kind of happiness and joy that Jesus talked about and promoted. Jesus was all about people being happy, people being filled with Joy. As John MacArthur put it “Jesus was in the happiness business”. However! Jesus’ idea of happiness was not what the world (when I use the word world I mean the secular, non-Christian, people who put the things of this world before the things of the Kingdom of God) would consider happiness. True Happiness is backwards… Now off the cuff that might not make sense and may not sound like something that you want to obtain, but were going to examine that statement.
First I want to start by looking at the Greek word MAKARIOS. Makarios means a kind of happiness, a kind of blissfulness, a kind of contentedness, a kind of peacefulness and a kind of blessedness that is unaffected by circumstance nor subject to the change of circumstance. This is the basic New Testament concept of Blessedness. It is the state that God wants His people to live in. It is a word that talks about character. This word is used to describe God:
· Psalm 68:35 “Blessed Be God”
· Psalm 72:18 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”
· Psalm 119:12 "Blessed art Thou 0 Lord"
· 1st Timothy 1:11 “The Blessed God”
What ever it is to be blessed it is true of God and of Jesus Christ. The only people who will experience it are the people who partake of God and partake of Christ. There is no blessedness apart from Christ. Here’s the good news! 2nd Peter 1:4 tells us “We who believe in Jesus Christ are partakers in His divine nature”… Watch this… Now Peter says we partake in His divine nature. What’s that mean. We can know the same bliss, the same inner state of contentment, the same happiness deep down within us that is known by God and the Lord Jesus Christ themselves. Am I saying that we can have the same peace as God? Yes! Am I saying we can have the same happiness, and inner contentment as the God that created the entire universe? Yes I am! How can that be? Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and we are no longer under the curse of sin and we are free from being a slave to sin and we can have perfect fellowship with Christ which is the ONLY thing that can make that peace, that happiness available.
In Matthew’s Gospel chapters 5-7, known most popularly as the “sermon on the mount” or The Beatitudes, Jesus lay’s out what it is that makes a man blessed, here blessed is synonymous with happy. Matthew presents in the word’s of Jesus an outline of happiness that is opposite of the way most of the world would see it.
Right now, I want you to take a test. Pass or Fail. First thing that pops in to your head…. Ready…. Picture happy people……………………………………………….
Did you picture the go-getter? The guy who always seems to get what he wants, where he wants, when he wants, did you picture the rich, the noble, the one who has lots of the world’s things??? In the words of Jesus happy people are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, the hungry and the thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted, and the reviled.
Maybe that sounds like the opposite of happiness to you? If you are really hungry, you missed breakfast, too busy for lunch, get home its late your ready for dinner now your hungry your maybe a little bit irritable all you want is dinner anything will do at that point because your real hungry. Put your self there for a minute in your mind’s eye, everyone’s been there, stomach’s turning, maybe its even tight and hurting a little your so hungry, you don’t even want anyone to talk to you or deal with anything you just want to eat. There is this movie you REALLY want to see you been waiting for this movie to come out for weeks you get home and as soon as you get home you get a phone call and someone asks you if you want to go see that movie, but the catch is got to go right away. This means you don’t have time to eat. How much is this movie going to mean to you, how much are you going to enjoy this movie if you do go and see it, how much happiness is this movie going to bring you. The point is when your body needs food you cant replace food for anything else. This is the same with spiritual things. When your body needs Spiritual food, no, money, toy , relationship, thing, nothing but Jesus Christ, obeying him as Lord in your life, spending time in His word, and personal time with Him in prayer will bring happiness to your life!
For the next weeks to come I’ll continue with this theme of finding true happiness in life as I walk through the Beatitudes and hope to uncover some life changing truths in the process.