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Happiness the Jesus Way

Happiness the Jesus Way



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This is a book of 10 messages on how to be happy according to the teaching of Jesus.
This is a book of 10 messages on how to be happy according to the teaching of Jesus.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 26, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Pastor Glenn Pease
1. WHAT IS HAPPINESS? Based on Matt. 5:1-12 and Phil. 4:10-132. PROSPERITY IN POVERTY Based on Matt. 5:33. HAPPINESS IN SORROW Based on Matt. 5:44. THE MIGHTY MEEK Based on Matt. 5:55. HAPPINESS THROUGH HUNGER Based on Matt. 5:66. HAPPY ARE THE MERCIFUL Based on Matt. 5:77. THE HEART OF HAPPINESS Based on Matt. 5:88. FIGHTERS FOR PEACE Based on Matt. 5:99. THE BURDEN OF THE CROSS Based on Matt. 5:10-1210. HAPPY NEW YEAR Based on Matt. 5:1-12
1. WHAT IS HAPPINESS? Based on Matt. 5:1-12 andPhil. 4:10-13
Epictetus, the ancient philosopher said, "If a man is unhappy, thismust be his own fault, for God made all men to be happy." AChristian writer, St. Bernard, said something similar. "Nothing canwork me damage except myself; the harm that I sustain I carry aboutwith me, and never am a real sufferer but by my own fault." Thesetwo men represent the internal philosophy of happiness. Externalmean nothing, and need have no effect upon the happiness of aperson, is their view.External evil is recognized as a reality, but one does not need tolet it penetrate his inner being. Epictetus, for example, said, "I mustdie, but must I die sorrowing? I must be put in chains. Must I thenalso lament? I must go into exile. Can I be prevented from going
with cheerfulness and contentment? But I will put you in prison.Man, what are you saying? You may put my body in prison, but mymind not even Zeus himself can overpower." Here is a rare exampleof how even a pagan slave can, by the power of positive thinking,demonstrate the human capacity for internal happiness without theexternals usually associated with happiness.The facts of life and history show that this is possible, but it is alsohighly improbable that more than a few rare individuals cancompletely ignore the externals of life. The vast majority of peopledepend upon externals almost exclusively. They grasp at things as theonly source of satisfaction. People really believe that more moneycan bring happiness in spite of the fact that the suicide rate is higheramong the haves than among the have nots. Abdalrahman the Khalif had thousands of wives, and millions upon millions of wealth, but thisis what he wrote near the end of his life: "I have now reigned above50 years in victory or peace. I have been beloved of my subjects,dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches andhonor, power and pleasure have waited on my call, nor does anyearthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In thissituation I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuinehappiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to fourteen."No amount of externals can guarantee happiness, yet man'snatural tendency is to search for happiness in that direction. Menhave a hard time believing that there is any hope of happiness apartfrom externals. Aristotle represented the Greek view when he saidthat the blessed life was impossible to the diseased, the poor, and theslave. Samuel Johnson had a close friend who said that hissister-in-law was really a happy woman. This made Johnson mad,and he replied like the brute he could be, "If your sister-in-law isreally the contented being she professes herself, sir, her life gives thelie to every research to humanity; for she is happy, without health,without beauty, without money, and without understanding." He
went away growling, "I tell you the woman is ugly, and sickly, andfoolish and poor, and would it not make a man hang himself to hearsuch a creature say she was happy?" The very idea of being happywithout the values so treasured by his materialistic heart made himangry. It does not seem fair to the secularist who has struggled for allthe externals of wealth, power, and fame to see people who are happywho have not made the struggle.Paul would have made him angry by his words in Phil. 4:11-12.Paul said, "...For I have learned to be content whatever thecircumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it isto have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any andevery situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plentyor in want." Paul's happiness was not dependent upon whathappened, or what he had. This means that Paul's happiness wasinternal. Paul did not have control over the externals of his life, butlike everybody else does, he had control over how he would react tolife internally.If it is only going to be a happy new year for us if we get morestuff, and all goes well, then we are living on a different level thanPaul was on. This does not mean we should not get more stuff, andthat we should not strive to make all go well. Paul advised Christiansto live peaceably with all men, and to prevent all the negatives of lifethat they can. But if this is your only level of happiness you are toocontrolled by the externals, and changes can quickly rob you of your joy in Christ. We need to see the externals as fringe benefits, and notthe base salary of the Christian life. The foundation is to be internaland attitudinal rather than external and material. Jesus and Paulagree here completely. Happiness does not depend on what happens,but on how you face all that happens. Jesus is saying in the beatitudesthat you can be happy even if you are experiencing many negativeexternals.

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