We all want to find “happiness.” It’s so much hard-wired into humanity that even our nation’s Founding Fathers made sure “the pursuit of happiness” would forever be a universally recognized right and freedom. The problem is, we’re not very good at finding true happiness. The World seems to tell us that it could be found in buying a certain product or losing a certain amount of weight or living in a certain neighborhood, but as we’ve all discovered, there is more to it than that.
I believe that if we want a happy life, we should find our answers from the giver of life. Jesus gives us a roadmap to happiness in the first section of Matthew Chapter 5. This opening to His most famous public sermon (The Sermon on the Mount) is often called the Beautitudes because he begins each line with “Blessed.” When he is talking about each of these groups being “blessed,” he is essentially (in our modern language) saying that they are being truly happy. As you will see, Jesus’ description of the path to true happiness is drastically different than what our consumeristic world offers, but I believe His path is the one worth taking.
Here’s the text from Jesus’ teachings. Below each verse, I’ve made some points in bold to give some application:
Blessed (Happy) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
You must admit your Need for God.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Keep your Heart tender enough to feel Pain and Sorrow.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
Trust God as the only Source of your Strength.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
Desire to do the Right Thing even when it’s Hard.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7
Forgive others as God has Forgiven You.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
Come to God with Childlike Faith and Love.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9
Be the First to stop the Fighting.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
Remember that Suffering for Christ in this life equals Glory with Christ in Eternity.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” –Jim Elliott (Martyred Missionary)