A Blessed Life: Part I

by APC on September 03, 2015

Matthew lists attitudes, actions, appetites, attributes and circumstances for blessings in a well-known passage of Scripture, known as “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1–10). In this Scripture setting, Jesus describes elements that are contrary to what we would consider a blessing and/or what would make us happy. Culture has defined ideal happiness as modifying our external circumstances, but Jesus speaks of internal happiness.

Secret to Happiness

In Ecclesiastes 2, King Solomon describes many ways he tried to accomplish happiness, but was resolved to say all of life was irrational (Ecclesiastes 2:17). Jesus knew the human condition—that we would never be satisfied with “stuff,” so Jesus teaches about blessings: where real happiness and contentment comes from.

Happiness does not depend on the right circumstances, but on the right attitudes, behaviors, and attributes. Blessings and happiness comes from what God does on the inside, and not what we or others do on the outside. The secret to happiness is admitting our helplessness—something that seems odd and extreme.

In The Beatitudes, all scriptures start with an old English word blessed, which means happy—God’s favor in someone’s life. This study’s focus will be on the first two components of happiness: being poor in spirit and mourning.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:1–4, KJV).

Poor in Spirit

When Jesus teaches His followers to be “poor in spirit,” he wasn’t talking about having a bad attitude. Jesus spoke of the importance of humility. This is a problem in all of humanity. Jesus spoke about it, and all throughout Scripture there is evidence of the disciples struggling with it, as well as the early churches.

We need to be cautious to not exhibit a spirit of pride (Galatians 6:3) and not to think too much of ourselves. Humility and happiness go hand-in-hand; therefore, we need to examine how humility can help us.

Humility Reduces Stress

When we have expectations for ourselves and others, we have more stress when they’re not met (by us or others). When we allow humility to reign in our life it will reduce the gap between expectation and reality and will take us to a realistic place of operation.

Scripture reminds us to cast all of our cares upon the Lord (I Peter 5:7); the more we give up, the stronger we become. God will always resist the proud and give grace (strength) to the humble (James 4:6). Humility helps us to the rely more on our Creator, and Lord—Jesus!

Humility Improves Our Relationships

Prideful, self-centered people are never happy because they are depending on a source that is flawed: themselves. They bring their unhappiness into every relationship they touch: with others and with God. Humility will remove our focus from ourselves and will allow our focus to turn toward others. We should let other people speak about us (both good and bad).

Others should be given the opportunity to praise us (Proverbs 27:2). God will exalt us in His own time if He deems us worthy (I Peter 5:6), but if we exalt ourselves, God will take us down (Matthew 23:12). If we attempt to walk humbly before the Lord and be honest about what we are and depend on God, we will have better relationships—with others and with the Lord.

Humility Releases God’s Power

Scripture reminds us that when we are humble, we will inherit the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), but within us (Luke 17:21). God’s kingdom is not in earthly things, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17)!

It is God’s desire to allow His children to be partakers of His kingdom (Luke 12:32). We should remember: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it (Matthew 13:45–46, KJV). There is nothing that God won’t do for the humble!

Mourning

God’s happiness to those who mourn is that God comforts them! We may have a false perception that if we are hurting, this isn’t the will of God or that we have sin in our life. Scripture tells us it is okay to hurt—Jesus designed blessing to be a part of mourning.

Mourning is grieving over what is lost. It’s wrong for us to come to the idea that pain means faithlessness. If this is right, Jesus was a man that was marked with failure. Jesus wept for the loss of Lazarus (John 11:35), lamented over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37–39), and cried in agony over facing the cruel and rugged cross (Luke 22:44). Overall, Jesus was, “…a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…” (Isaiah 53:3, KJV). True faith is not acting like pain does not exist, but trusting in God when pain exists.

King David cried unto the Lord in Psalm 30 and God responded. From this experience, David teaches us three important lessons.

Mourning Should Not Last Forever

When David cried to the Lord, God heard him and healed him. David teaches us that mourning has a place, but should not last forever: weeping may last for a night, but joy is coming in the morning.

Mourning is a Process

There will come a time when we change into something else. David declared that God turned his mourning into dancing. Turning will take time and is a process, but has an outcome of joy! What once hurts us will turn into something we can praise God about!

Mourning is for a Purpose

We should understand that the trials we endure are purposeful in our walk with God. Romans 8:28 reminds us that all things work together for our good! God makes us endure tribulation because others don’t have the ability to endure it. God will give us strength to make it through (I Corinthians 10:13).

The added blessing in mourning is God’s presence. If God will come when we need help, than being in a place where God will show up isn’t a bad place to be! God is close to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18). When we come through a period of mourning, our latter will be greater than our past (Haggai 2:9).

Manifesting Happiness

We should remember that God’s Word is always good and always true. We just have to try it out and see God’s promises activated in our life. Jesus reminds us: If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them (John 13:17, KJV).

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on September 2, 2015