Summary: Who doesn't want to be happy! Jesus pitied unhappy folks, so He taught eight attitudes to help us discover true happiness, the second being our need to discover God's comfort during times of sorrow.
PRESCRIPTION FOR HAPPINESS
The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:1-12
Everybody I know wants to be happy. However, it appears to me that some folks may not understand what true happiness is.
There are those, for example, who seem to think that lots of money would make them happy; yet, some of the wealthiest people in the world have said that fortune brought misery to their lives.
Others seem to think that if they could just be famous, they would be happy; yet, many famous folks come to the end of their way feeling unhappy due to loneliness and sadness.
Neither fame nor fortune brings true happiness to any individual. This is as true today as it was when Jesus preached a sermon about happiness during his ministry on this earth.
Times have changed, but the search for happiness is still one of our top priorities.
Perhaps we would do well to adopt as one of our main goals in life: To be happy and to make other happy.
One of the memories that I cherish of my father-in-law is the note that he wrote to himself and taped on the mirror into which he looked every morning when he shaved.
The note read:
Go to nursing home
Make people happy.”
Whether in a nursing home or not, we all want to be happy. We want to wake up each morning with a reason for living yet another day . . . with an inward feeling of assurance that life is worthwhile . . . with no thought as to whether or not our needs are going to be met that day . . . with as bright an outlook on life as possible . . . with the hope that someone who needs a word of encouragement will cross our path that day; so, “Lord, help me to encourage someone today.”
My father-in-law discovered happiness by making others happy. He could not make people happy by giving them money; nor could he make them happy by offering them fame. He did so simply by going where there was a need for encouragement. Oftentimes all he had to offer was a smile, a handshake, or a pat on the back, without saying a word. His actions spoke, as if to say, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee.”
When Jesus saw a multitude of people searching for happiness, he had pity on them – and then, “He went up on a mountainside and sat down, and he began to teach them.”
“How to be Happy” was the theme of the first lesson Jesus taught in His “Sermon on the Mount”. Here was the Great Physician, taking time to sit down with those longing for a happy life, giving them a prescription consisting of eight components of the blessing of happiness.
Think of these eight components as noted minister-author Robert Schuler and my long-time friend Harmon Born, along with other respected servants of God have suggested: BE Attitudes – the person God wants me (us) to BE.
When a medical doctor prescribes an antibiotic, the patient is advised to take the entire dosage over a period of time in order to realize the full benefit of the prescription.
Jesus our Great Physician advises those who desire true happiness to incorporate all eight BE Attitudes into daily life if they (we) want to benefit fully from God’s Prescription for Happiness. Amen.
PRESCRIPTION FOR HAPPINESS SERMON II: BE A MOURNER
“Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
“O the happiness of those who mourn!”
Most of us enjoy laughing. To me, there is no greater therapy than to laugh. Perhaps you have heard it said that laughter is the best medicine.
A counselor may advise you to deal with your stress by being around folks who enjoy having a good time by laughing together.
In his wisdom, however, Solomon reminded us that “there is a time to laugh and a time to weep, a time to dance and a time to mourn.” (Eccl. 3:4)
The word mourn used by Jesus was the strongest word for sorrow in the language which he spoke. It had to do with the passionate grief that someone felt over the loss of a loved one.
It is similar to the word that was used in the Hebrew language to describe Jacob’s grief when he believed that Joseph, his son, was dead.
It was an expression that defined the kind of grief that takes hold of you with such a strong grip that you cannot hide your sorrow. It has to do with a mourning which causes your heart literally to ache. It is the sorrow expressed by sobs and tears that cannot be held back.
Jesus: “Blessed are those who mourn like a person grieving for loved ones who have died.”