Our 4 Happiness Tips from the Sermon on the Mount is worth some deep introspection. It is a challenge for our true perspectives on this life and its worth. In our last two posts, that can be read here and here, we talked about 10 Reasons to be Happy. The Sermon on the Mount gives us even more insight to happiness in it’s recounting of Jesus’ words to his disciples.
It is important to note that Jesus’ message here was to his disciples and not to the multitude. Not everything that Jesus had to say was for everyone to hear. Some things were explained only to those who were willing to make Jesus their top priority. The ones that made the Lord a part of everything they did and everywhere they went. They were focused on learning as much as they could from Him. So, Jesus taught them deeper truths that called for a greater commitment than what was required from those that came only for the miracles and the big events.
This post would be too long to go into great detail on every point of the Mount teaching. We will simplify it by saying that Jesus is letting us know what He considers to be True Lasting Happiness. Examining these ‘tips’ from the Sermon on the Mount will give us some insight into our own lives and hearts. We will be able to ask ourselves if we are truly happy or if we are settling for the world’s alluring and deceptive facade of temporary happiness.
TIP #1 v3 ** Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. **
To be poor in spirit is to be broken, or to arrive at the end of ourselves. It is a poverty that empties us of self and self-sufficiency. Paul, the apostle, calls it ‘die daily’. To be poor in spirit is to be void of self-worship, pride and arrogance. It is the heart attitude of the sinner and the opposite of that of the Pharisee from Luke 18.
Having a right and poor spirit is the key to the kingdom of heaven. And it is promised to those whose hearts are humbled openly and regularly before the Lord. This openness and surrender, painful though it may be, results in a deeper understanding of true happiness and its eternal rewards.
TIP #2 v 4 ** Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. **
To mourn or to grieve is a human reaction to great loss or pain. Any important loss can bring on a season of mourning. Smaller losses result in shorter mourning periods, greater loss may result in years of mourning. Whether small or great is our loss, happiness comes from the comfort that the Lord gives in times of pain and loss. He is faithful, sensitive to our loss, and at our side to walk through every level of loss we face in this life. The Lord’s presence and comfort is a blessing that fills our hearts with happiness, even if it is a quiet, comforting happiness instead of an exterior, big-smile kind of happiness.
TIP #3 v5 **Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. **
Numbers 12 tells us that Moses was considered the meekest of men. And, of course, we know that Jesus said **Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. ** (Matthew 11:29 )
Here are some characteristics of how Jesus and Moses may have exhibited meekness according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: Gentle, mellow, not easily provoked or irritated, yielding, given to forbearance, not violent, kind, compassionate, merciful, not severe or cruel, not fierce, rough or angry, not stern or frowning, calm, tranquil.
This list certainly sounds like a promo for Jesus, right? And if we think of all the frustration that Moses dealt with as a leader of over a million people, we only know of one time that he lost his cool with them. So, the list probably fits him as well.
So, happiness goes hand-in-hand with meekness?
I think, if we were able to demonstrate all of these characteristics every day and in every situation, I think we would be happier, wouldn’t you? Because the opposite of our meekness list would be: frustration, irritation, being short-tempered, arguing, hitting, merciless, selfish, cruel, angry, anxious, unstable, stubborn or always complaining.
If we attempted to imitate Jesus or Moses, we would be more peaceful. We would find * rest for our souls *. We would have better priorities. We would spend more time with God. We would not sweat the small stuff. We would stop trying to control our life and the life of those we love. We would accept hardship quietly and with contentment. We would be happy in a way that is defined in this look at the Sermon on the Mount.
I think we can conclude that Meekness=happiness and rest.
TIP #4 v6 ** Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. **
The fourth tip we learn from Jesus’ Sermon tells us that we can be happier by hungering for more of God. Hungering for the things of this world can cause us frustration and worry and stress, right? But a deep desire to know more of God and His righteousness and holiness will force us to quiet ourselves and listen and yield to His Spirit.
The reward for our hunger is to be filled. Filled with His Spirit. Filled with Wisdom. Filled with peace from knowing we have found Truth and a clear path for life.
It is plain to see that each of these Happiness Tips are accompanied by promises.
A Poor Spirit receives a kingdom.
Mourning receives comforting.
Meekness receives an inheritance.
Hunger receives a banquet.
A comforting kingdom combined with an abundant inheritance and a daily banquet that leaves our cup running over is the fruit of living the principles and the 4 Happiness Tips of the Sermon on the Mount.
In our next post, we will look at the 4 remaining Tips on Happiness that the Sermon has yet to teach us.