In His first major sermon to the multitudes, Jesus began with one word… “blessed.”
What followed was a list of people who could consider themselves blessed. “Blessed are the poor in spirit… blessed are they that mourn… blessed are the meek…” and so on. The essence of the opening words of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 was that those who know the Lord, who reflect His nature in their very lives, are blessed.
The word blessed is the state of being. Those disciples to whom Jesus preached were not aspiring to being blessed, they already were blessed. The implied promise is that those who know the Lord and live by His Spiritual leadership will be blessed, but what does it mean to be blessed?
The word translated into “blessed” in Matthew 5 means to be happy. That makes sense, until you start to wonder what it means to be happy.
What does it mean to be happy?
Sadly, so many people in our world today struggle because they pursue happiness, but fail to grasp what it really is.
For some, happiness is a state of joy, and to maintain happiness, one must maintain a continual state of joy. This is unsustainable and impossible, and almost always leads to bad choices, sacrificing long-term blessings for short-term pleasures, and warps one’s sense of values.
For some, happiness is a state of accomplishment. The problem with this approach is that the satisfaction of accomplishments is usually short-lived. Ask any Super Bowl winning quarterback, and they’ll tell you.
No, happiness is a state of being confident and secure. To be happy is to realize that all of your needs have been met. To be happy means to have the human needs of love and esteem met. To be happy means to know that you are going to be okay.
With happiness being the confident and secure state, one can experience happiness regardless of emotional state. You can be happy and joyful at the same time. You can also be happy and sad at the same time. You can grieve while feeling confident and secure in God’s grace, so while you are expressing emotions of sadness and angst, you are still happy.
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America declares that God created man with certain unalienable rights, among which are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have the God-given right to pursue a state of confidence and security, but where shall we find it?
For some, it’s in the finances. So long as they can accumulate enough wealth to provide for their families indefinitely, they think they will find happiness, that is, confidence and security. The problem with this approach is that those who work, or invest, for money realize how fleeting it is. If your hope for happiness lies in money, you will always fear losing it, thus will never attain to confidence and security, and thus will never be happy.
For others, it’s in relationships. The problem with people is that we each bring our own hang-ups, baggage, traumas and triggers to the table, rendering us incapable of providing confidence and security to others. When others seek to find their happiness in us, they are almost always left disillusioned.
No, happiness can only be found in the Lord. By trusting the Lord, we learn that, not only is our eternal destiny secured, but God has also taken note of our needs in this life, and has committed Himself to providing for those needs. (See Matthew 6).
Therefore, it can be concluded that the more we trust the Lord, the happier we’ll be, even if the emotion of joy eludes us.
May you find God’s blessing today.