Finding true happiness in todays society ,PART TWO

Finding true happiness in todays society ,PART TWO

Part 2 of finding true happiness in todays society

Let’s look now at the be-happy attitude questions

• What would it take to make you really happy?

• What is holding you back from being happy?

• How can you help others discover the secret to happiness?

Now I want to look at Happiness is generated when and then I’ll go into each point.

• Happiness is generated when we ask for help

• Happiness is generated when we allow others to comfort us

• Happiness is generated when we remain cool, calm, and correct

• Happiness is generated when we long for significance

• Happiness is generated when we forgive others

• Happiness is generated when we keep our eyes fixed on God

• Happiness is generated when we learn to be peacemakers

• Happiness is generated when we are mistreated

Let’s look at these points!

Happiness is generated when we ask for help

(Matthew 5:3)- There is a tendency for people to believe that they would be happy....

• If only I weren’t under such financial stress

• If only I weren’t sick all the time

• If only I could be successful at...

• If only I could find someone to love me

Even if all the “if only’s” come true, they could not guarantee happiness. Social scientists along

with medical doctors have been looking more carefully at this. What they have learned is that,

ironically, as the level of marital provisions has risen, the level of emotional health has declined.

Usually material indicators, such as poverty, employment rates, and per capital income, relect

life satisfaction. However, recent studies indicate that for the first time the converse is true.

Even though our society in America has never been healthier from a materialistic perspective,

we have an all-time crisis in depression, suicidal tendencies, and teen pregnancies among our

children and teens. The good news is there is a time-proven formula available. Jesus gave us

the secret over two thousand years ago in the Beatitudes, or so called Be-happy Attitudes.

The Beatitudes are principles that teach us how we can be happy in spite of difficulties.

Even if we mourn, even if we make mistakes, even if we are persecuted and treated unfairly,

we can still be happy. The preamble to the Sermon on the Mount, these beatitudes provide a

spiritual foundation for living a life that is joyful--- no matter what! What a gift they are to us

yet today.

In fact, don’t be surprised if they begin to sound familiar. Some of these principles

have since been adopted as part of twelve step programs. The first principle is being willing to

ask for help:”I need help! I can’t do it alone!” Regardless of our state in life there are times

when all of us will need to ask for help.

It is amazing how reluctant we are to admit that we

need help. It is a vulnerable, risky place to be. What will they think of me? The truth is that

usually when we ask for help, people are typically impressed and eager to provide a helping


The wonderful thing about asking for a helping hand and receiving it is that we are then

what much more prepared to help others when they need it.

People are much more inclined

to ask for help from someone they know has also had to ask for help than from someone who

puts on the appearance of never needing help.

When you ask for help, you are not only helping yourself; you are helping others!

Happiness is generated when we allow others to comfort us!

(Matthew 5:4)- Why do bad things happen to good people? This question has haunted pastors

for years. There is a perception that if we live good lives, we will be happy, but if we live bad

lives, we deserve to have bad things happen to us.

This mentality appears to stem from

childhood and schooling, where the good little child got the rewards of a good report card,

allowance, praise, and so forth, whereas the bad child lost recess, got bad grades, and was

put on restriction.

We seem to carry this mentality with us into adulthood and the real world,

where our circumstances are vulnerable to multiple variables that are out of our control. When

people ask us, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “We tell them they are asking the

wrong question.

The healthy question is, “What do good people do when bad things happen to

them?” The answer Jesus gives to this question in the beatitude is, “When bad things happen

to good people, they will be comforted.”

Over and over we have walked with people who have

had to endure enormous hardship and terrible loss, and over and over we have seen God

comfort them along the way.

People have said, “Life shouldn’t be this hard.” But Jesus teaches

us that it is possible to be happy even when sorrow casts a long, black shadow. Trouble will

either turn you into a bitter person or a better person. With help, you can turn your negative

into a positive, your minus into a plus, your cross into an empty tomb. It’s possible to be

happy anyways if:

1. You don’t blame God

2. You don’t blame yourself

3. You don’t blame others

Blame accomplishes nothing, except to hinder the comfort that is part of the healing process.

If rather than focusing on blame, you can focus on turning your scar into a star, you will find

releif from your grief, you can turn your mourning into morning.

As much as your situation

hurts, know God cares. He weeps as much as you do. That’s why he sends his promised Holy

Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Claim that promised One today. You can nurse your hurt, rehearse

your hurt, or you can reverse your hurt, its all up to you—choose healing today!

Happiness is generated when we remain cool, calm, and corrected (Matthew 5:5)

When pushed, threatened, or mistreated, we all find it easy to lose our cool, spout off, or


It takes tremendous emotional maturity to stand our ground coolly and calmly and to

be willing to be corrected. It is not enough to be collected; it is important to be willing to face

or mistakes, learn from them, and grow in the process.

This beatitude has unfortunately been

misinterpreted through the years to mean that being meek means to run away, give without

taking, allowing ourselves to be doormats who let people walk over us.

To be a martyr is just

as damaging as being argumentative. Rather, being meek means negotiation, stating your

position, discussing options, but being willing to admit when you are wrong, being willing to

accept help, being willing to say you’re sorry, without becoming defensive and argumentative.

To help clarify what we mean by meek, we offer the following acrostic:


E- Emotionally stable

E- Educable

K- Kind

Blessed are the mighty- The powerful are mighty when they have learned to use their strength

for good. They turn their problems into projects, their difficulties into dividends, their obstacles

into opportunities, their stumbling blocks into stepping stones. They use their strength to help


Blessed are the emotionally stable- The emotionally stable are those who control how they

emotionally respond to thier ups and downs. They are those who can resist temptation to lash

out, to quit or to give in to impulsive whims and fancies.

They are patient and persistent. In

the process, they are frequently the ones other people go to for help.

Blessed are the educable- The educable are those who are willing to continually learn.

Frequently called “lifelong learners,” they recognize that there is more power in one of the

most sought after by employers in new employees.

They would rather have someone who

is pliable, moldable, reachable than one who is arrogant and unwilling to learn or be a team


Blessed are the kind- The kind those who are sweet, sensitive, thoughtful. They are those who

are willing to say, “It’s your turn.” It doesn’t mean that they won’t take their turn, but they don’t

insist on pushing their way to the front of the line either.

They are the quiet souls who write

notes of comfort, who will pray with and for others who are hurting, who will bring an apple

pie to a family who is going through a tough time, and whom you will find serving weekly at

a soup kitchen. Anyone can be meek. Anyone can be blessed.

Happiness is generated when we long for significance (Matthew 5:6) - Satisfaction is a fleeting,

frequently futile objective. People who diet are never skinny enough, people who are rich are

never rich enough, people who are successful are never successful enough. When is enough,


The never-ending, vicious cycle of striving for more- whatever “more” is—can lead to

a sense of dissatisfaction and its kissing cousin, unhappiness, even despair. Jesus provides the

key to break the destructive cycle and reverse the trend toward a healthier, happier mind set.

The secret according to this beatitude is not the dissatisfaction, not the seeking of more—rather

it is the object of our hunger, our thirst. Do we hunger and thirst for more money, more fame,

more success, more sexual gratification?

If so, then we are likely to remain frustrated and end

up driving ourselves down a dead end road. Like the proverbial hamster on a wheel, we will

find ourselves only spinning round and round and getting nowhere.

But if we hunger and thirst

to make a difference, to help the needy, to comfort the sad, to assist the helpless, we have

moved beyond seeking success to seeking significant.

This is what Jesus meant when he gave

this fourth beatitude: “Blessed are those who long to be significant-those who long to make a

difference.” Righteousness is much more than refraining from doing hurtful things.

It is possible to be pure, but that is not necessarily the same as being righteous. If a girl has a

spotless white pinafore because she has not left her room all day, whereas a girl has mud all

over her dress because she jumped into a mud puddle to retrieve a friend’s priceless locket,

who is righteous—the pure girl or the muddy girl?

The secret to happiness, according to this

beatitude, is to find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it. When you have sold yourself out

to a God-given dream with the purpose of making a positive difference—when you hunger and

thirst to leave a significant change—you will be satisfied and truly happy!

Happiness is generated when we forgive others (Matthew 5:7)—There is probably no topic

people resist than forgiving others. People get really uncomfortable and sometimes downright

angry when they think they are being told to forgive.

Frequently, the initial hurt, the still

festering wound, aches all over again when a person just thinks about forgiving. Unwilling to

feel such discomfort, we avoid the issue at all costs, even to the cost of our health, both

mental and physical.

We would rather make ourselves sick than have to forgive someone who

hurt us. The opposite of the be-happy attitude is the un-happy attitude. The un-happy attitude

seeks revenge:

I’ll get even. “the un happy attitude withholds the affection and kindness: “

I’ll show them.” .” The un-happy attitude, unfortunately results in isolation and loneliness, and

may lead to health problems caused by the stress that accompanies such negative responses.

Is it worth risking such results to withhold mercy from someone? Or is it worth doing the hard,

hard work of forgiving, if it means restored health and happiness? Perhaps it helps to realize

that forgiveness is not synonymous with approval or even acceptance.

When you forgive

people, it doesn’t mean you accept what they did as okay. It doesn’t mean you approve of

their actions. It doesn’t give them permission to repeat the offense. Forgiveness means you

can think of what was done and not let it bother you. It means you can let it go.

Chances are,

if they are going to repeat the offense, they will do so regardless of whether you forgive them

or not. It is folly to think that by withholding forgiveness we are somehow restraining repeat


Quite the contrary; Often when people have been forgiven, they are less likely to

repeat, and even if they do, it is not your responsibility to control everyone else’s behavior---

only your own. The question always arises: “But do I have to forgive someone who has not

asked for forgiveness?”

Isn’t repentance a prerequisite for forgiveness? This argument has

been found on the premise that “a broken and contrite heart, you, God, you will not despise

(psalm 51:17). Let’s just say that it is easier to forgive and be forgiven when repentance is a

part of the equation.

But it is likely that there will be multiple times in your life when someone

will hurt you terribly and never ask for forgiveness. Then what? Do you hold that grudge for

the rest of your life? Remember that forgiveness is more for you than for that one you are

forgiving. To forgive or not forgive—that is the question. One leads to health and happiness,

the other to allowing the hurt to live on and keep on hurting. Which do you choose?

Happiness is generated when we keep our eyes focused on God! (Matthew 5:

This be- happy attitude teaches the joy that comes from experiencing faith in God. Whereas

doubt and uncertainty erode satisfaction and joy, faith instills joy that comes when you are

connected to something significant. In ministry, we hear a common theme from people:

“I wish I had more faith!” Corrie ten boom, the author of the classic book The hiding place,

was a Protestant Dutch survivor of three different concentration camps, including Ravensbruck.

The ten boom family lived in the rooms above the watch shop that they owned in Harlaam,

Netherlands. During the Second World War, they hid Jews in secret rooms in their home,

hence the title, The Hiding Place.

After the ten booms were betrayed by neighbors, the

gestapo were unable to find the Jews hidden behind a false wall (and later rescued and saved),

but the family was arrested based solely on illegal materials found in the home. The ten Booms

were treated no better than the Jewish people, who were also in the camps with whom they

were thrown.

Corrie was the sole survivor of the family, but she went on to found a powerful

international ministry, telling the story of God’s faithfulness in captivity. During her many

travels and lectures, Corrie, a woman who is remembered for her amazing faith, loved to tell

the story of when she was a girl.

One day she expressed to her father her fear that she did not

have enough faith. Her father asked her, “Corrie, when we take a trip on the rain, do I give you

the ticket a year before you need it? A month before? Even a day before?” “No Papa.”

“Why is that?” “Because I might lose it?”

“No, because you don’t need it then. I wait to give to you until you need it. So it is with our

faith in God. He waits to give it to us until we need it. But when we need it, do not fear, He

will supply all your need, especially your need to have faith.”

Corrie testifies that this was

indeed the case for her and her family. When they were a their deepest need, enduring the

agonies of the concentration camps, God was there supplying the faith she needed. Corrie

wrote in her later years: “some people think I have a great faith, but that is not true. I do not

have great faith---I have a faith in a great God!"