Finding True Happiness

KEY VERSE: “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” —Matthew 5:12


TEACHINGS REGARDING HAPPINESS permeate the Bible, but perhaps nowhere is the subject dealt with in more detail than in the beatitudes which open Jesus’ sermon on the mount. His words describing happiness sound strange, indeed, to those schooled in the world’s understanding of happiness. Each of the beatitudes begins with the word ‘blessed’, and according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance can properly be translated either ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’.

While other teachers hold forth the rich, the great, the learned, the mighty, and the influential among men as the pattern to be copied if happiness would be attained, Jesus sets forth the reverse for those “who hath ears to hear.” (Matt. 13:9) He said to them, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) His message for the world, however, will go forth during his Second Advent, when we are assured that then all the blind eyes will be opened, and the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the whole earth.—Isa. 11:9

We find these words in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5: 3) Jesus was addressing those who believed on him, and were of a humble spirit. Those who are happy in the Lord are the ones who lean upon him, trusting him implicitly.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (vs. 4) Jesus also promised: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”—Matt. 11:28

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (vs. 5) None can be taught without the quality of meekness or teachableness. Valuable lessons must be learned which are essential to progress.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (vs. 6) Those who would follow in the Master’s footsteps will desire to love righteousness and hate iniquity.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (vs. 7) The most important lessons for the New Creature to learn are love, sympathy, and mercy. Our own imperfections constantly require divine mercy, and this should impress upon us the importance of having a merciful disposition toward those with whom we have to do.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (vs. 8) Although we cannot, while in the flesh, attain absolute purity in thought, word, or deed, we can have heart purity—pureness of intention and desire. Only those who have this heart condition may hope to see God.

“Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (vs. 9) This implies victory in attaining inward peace, and in becoming a peace-maker for others.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (vss. 10,11); these experiences are allowed, to round out our characters.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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