God Wants Me To Be Happy
Last week we looked at this word “Blessed” which can also be translated “Happy,” in the New Testament. Jesus used the word nine times in the first section of the Sermon on the Mount. He was was speaking to a crowd of people hungering for happiness, but his overall encouragement is to develop a hunger for righteousness Mat-thew 5:6. Happiness, or this state of being “blessed,” is a product of a heart conditioned to seek the things of God above all else – even above this pursuit of happiness.
“God-defined” happiness is not something one finds by perfect circumstances, but rather a condition of the heart.
The “Be-Happy” attitudes:
Matthew 5:3-5 NKJV “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
- “Happy are the poor in spirit.” Poverty is the way to happiness. Jesus is talking about poverty of __________________. Poverty of Spirit is the opposite of being filled with _____________________. Qualities of the poor in spirit – attributes to cultivate in our hearts
• They don’t seek ___________________ from others. Matthew 6:1-4
• They put the ______________________ of others ahead of their own.
THE PATH: POVERTY AND MOURNING
Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
• They are happy wherever God _________________ them. They’re not looking for their glory but want the spotlight to be on Jesus. Their dreams aren’t so big they don’t have time for ________________, seemingly ___________________ works or people.
- “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Again, it sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? How does “mourning” lead to a blessed state?
• When we mourn the loss of someone or something, we open ourselves up for __________________ to enter in an give his comfort and fill that void.
• Sometimes our mourning is the result of our ____________________.
There are two paths of sorrow when it comes to sin: _________________ sorrow and ______________ sorrow.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NKJV Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Godly sorrow “brings ___________________ that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.”
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
BE HAPPY #2 of 4 Kevin Withem | THE PATH: POVERTY AND MOURNING
- What reasons would you give for the decline in the sense of well-being that many Americans seem to be experiencing? From a Christ-centered perspective, what do you believe are critical elements for a healthy sense of well-being, or happiness?
- This message cited a statistic that by the time the average person in America reaches 65, they will have watched two million commercials (based on an average of nearly 30 hours a week of TV viewing). In what ways do believe those commercials contribute to a loss of contentment and happiness? How much time do you spend, when added up, and put as a percentage, in God’s Word, and prayer? How much of a disparity is there? How does spending time in God’s Word change your sense of contentment and well-being?
- How would you describe the term, “poor in spirit,” in a contemporary way? How does pride often keep us from enjoying and experiencing God? Kevin mentioned some characteristics of those who are poor-inspirit. Which of these stood out the most to you? Are there any of these which with you struggle?
- What are the ways that people tend to cope with mourning? Why is grieving healthy? What would you say to someone who told you that they try to stay busy to keep from thinking about their grief? How can grief lead us to God?
- Jesus speaks of mourning that includes mourning over our sin. In what ways can we become flippant and cavalier about our sins? How does this keep us from fully appreciating the grace of God? Can you think of a time when godly (as opposed to worldly) sorry led you to repentance and a new direction in your life?