431global posted7 months, 1 week ago431 GLOBAL SPOTLIGHTS ~ By JH FORESTER
Be Happy – Part 2
Jesus Christ, the “blessed and only Potentate,” knows best of all what it takes to be happy. (1 Timothy 1:11; 6:15) Thus, it comes as no surprise that the key to happiness is found in God’s Word, the Bible.—Revelation 1:3; 22:7.
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes what it takes to be happy. He states: Blessed are those” ” who (1) poor in spirit, (2) mourn, (3) the meek, (4) hunger and thirst for righteousness, (5) are merciful, (6) are pure in heart, (7) are peacemakers(8) are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and (9) are reviled , (reproached) and persecuted for His sake.—Matthew 5:3-11.
The truthfulness of some of Jesus’ statements needs little explanation. Who will deny that a mild-tempered, merciful, and peaceable person motivated by a pure heart will be happier than the angry, belligerent, merciless person will be?
We might wonder, however, how people who are poor in spirit or hunger and thirst for righteousness or who mourn could be called happy. Such individuals have a realistic view of world conditions. They ‘sigh and that cry for all the abominations” in our day. (Ezekiel 9:4) That in itself does not make them happy. However, when they learn of God’s purpose to bring righteous conditions and justice to the downtrodden, their joy knows no bounds.—Isaiah 11:4.
Love for righteousness also causes individuals to mourn over their own frequent failures to do what is right. They are thus poor in spirit or as one translation says “conscious of their spiritual need.” Such people are willing to look to God for guidance because they realize that He alone can help people to overcome their weaknesses.—Proverbs 16:3, 9; 20:24.
People who mourn, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and who are conscious of their spiritual need are aware of the importance of having a good relationship with the Creator. A good relationship with humans contributes to happiness, but even more so does a good relationship with God. Yes, serious-minded lovers of what is right, who are willing to accept divine guidance, can truly be called happy.
However, you may find it hard to believe that someone who is persecuted and reproached could be happy. Yet, it must be true, since Jesus Himself said so. Hence, how should His words be understood?
Note that Jesus did not say that reproach and persecution in themselves lead to happiness. He stipulated: “. 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.” (Matthew 5:10, 11) So happiness results only if a person suffers reproach because of being a follower of Christ and because of patterning their life after the righteous principles that Jesus taught.
This is illustrated by what happened to the early Christians. Members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high court, “called the apostles, and beat them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus.” How did the apostles react? “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”—Acts 5:40-42; 13:50-52.
The apostle Peter shed additional light on the connection between reproach and happiness. He wrote: “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” (1 Peter 4:14) Yes, suffering as a Christian for doing what is right, even though such suffering is unpleasant, brings the happiness that comes from knowing that one receives the Holy Spirit.
How is the Holy Spirit linked to happiness? Next post will explain.
If you are in or visiting Sacramento, our service time is at 300pm at 4345 Dry Creek Road, Sacramento, CA 95838. We also have Marketplace Bible Study on Wednesday nights at 700pm- Currently for the month of June , we are at the Raley’s Market at , 4650 Natomas Blvd., Sacramento, CA. Look for the Community Room next to Pharmacy. We also have a deliverance and counseling ministry. Contact us.
Jesus never said this journey would be easy, but, He makes it much easier. Come to Him!…God bless you!