Finding true happiness in todays society,PART THREE

finding true happiness in todays society - PART THREE

Happiness is generated when we learn to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)

Being a peacemaker is not just avoiding conflict, it is building bridges God calls us to build

bridges cross chasms separating individuals or groups, providing a common plank across

which we can walk---finding understanding. This beatitude promises that peacemakers will be

called “children of God”.

What a noble reputation that is! Where God sees a breach, he builds a

bridge. But usually he uses his children—you and me--- to help him with the construction. It

has been said that there is no more dangerous job than that of being a peacemaker.

The peacemaker is the one who is likely to get caught in the crossfire. Peace officers, protecting

our homeland security, will tell you that their number-one task each day is to get home safely

at night. The same is true of our young men and women who are trying to build bridges of

peace in foreign lands.

Most of them come home safely, but many have lost their lives in the

quest for peace. Choosing to build bridges is not for the faint of heart.

The golden gate bridge

in San Francisco begun in 1933, was completed in 1937 to a cost of over $36 million dollars

and the loss of eleven lives. Choosing to build relationship bridges can be even more costly

and take just as long, if not longer.

But the joys that come when the bridge is built, when the

connection is complete and communication can flow freely from side to side, is worth the

tremendous effort! Surely there can be no accomplishment more fulfilling than repairing a

breach, bringing peace where before there was conflict.

But not all conflict is destructive.

Some conflict can be healthy, especially when communicated in an attitude of respect for

another’s opinions. Then conflict can serve to stimulate growth and avoid making costly

mistakes. It is when conflict becomes hurtful and communication ceases that a bridge builder

needs to step in.

Needless to say, Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker. He laid down his life

to build a bridge between God and us as well as between us and our fellow man.

The cost of

Jesus Christ is the supreme symbol of a bridge. The vertical plank connects us to God, and

the horizontal plank connects us to our neighbors. In times of conflict, when peace is needed,

think of the cross and the high cost of building bridges he paid. If you build on the bridge of

the cross, you will not build in vain.

Happiness is generated even when we are mistreated (Matthew 5:10)

The people who heard Jesus give the beatitudes must have been amazed. The Be-Happy

attitudes certainly were contrary to popular opinion! Most of them (and us) would have written

beatitudes such as, “Blessed are the rich” Blessed are the famous”

Blessed are the well –educated and successful,”

Blessed are those who are loved and respected.”

Jesus, however, taught just the opposite: “Blessed are those who mourn,” “Blessed are those

who are meek.

” Blessed are those who forgive.” Blessed are those who seek righteousness.” Blessed are those

who have faith.” “Blessed are those who are peacemakers.”

And finally, “Blessed are those who are persecuted.”

This is probably not what the people wanted to hear. But Jesus didn’t tell

people what they wanted to hear, he told them what would help them.

And if people who are

persecuted can see that they are blessed anyway, that, more than anything, can help them get

through the horrific pain of persecution.

Nobody suffered more persecution than the Jews

during the Holocaust. Victor Frankl, the father of logotherapy, author of Man’s search for

meaning, conceived of the pioneering therapy when a prisoner in the concentration camp


Persecuted, imprisoned, and then stripped of his belongings, it was when

they took away not only his clothed but his wedding band that this thought came to him:

You can take away my belongings, you can take away my freedom, but

you can never take away my freedom to react to what you do to me!

It was that one

liberating though that provided a way for Victor to survive the atrocities of the concentration

camp, for through his suffering he found meaning. A trained psychiatrist at the time of his

imprisonment, he secretly practiced therapy with his fellow prisoners, helping them deal with

depression and suicidal tendencies.

After surviving the Holocaust, Dr Frankl was appointed

the chair of the Vienna Poliklinik of Neurologics.

Later he was appointed a professorship in

neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna. Dr. Frankl is but one example of what

Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, “When we are faced with persecution, we have the choice,

as Dr. Frankl taught, of how we will react.

Nobody can take away that freedom. We can react

with depression, even thoughts of suicide, or we can react with, “What can I learn from this?

How can I turn this into something beautiful for God?” Blessed are those who can see meaning

in life, Purpose in all things, God’s hand at work, even in the most distressing circumstances.

I think we should close this message up, But before we do, I’d like to have a invitation, If

anyone feels the Lord call them to find happiness Please respond to the Lord, or if the Lord

wants to deal with any other issue we have touched on. We ask all this in Jesus wonderful

awesome name Jesus, Amen!