Friday, July 15, 2016

Happiness From Sorrow

Chuckle: "Troy: “I’m a very famous  speaker. I spoke to thousands of people at the Boston Gardens.”  Paul: “Really? What did you say?  Troy: “Get your peanuts, popcorn, and cold drinks here.”  
Quote: “The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.” --Victor Hugo
"Blessed are those who mourn (sorrow), for they will be comforted" (Matt. 5:4 NIV).
Oswald Chambers on the beatitudes: "The teaching of Jesus is out of all proportion to our natural way of looking at things and it comes with astonishing discomfort to begin with. We have to slowly form our walk and conversations on the line of precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations; it is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting His way with us."
Today we can glean valuable lessons from the second beatitude. Let me begin with this question: Has your pride ever prevented you from admitting you were wrong? Has your pride ever caused you to argue your case relentlessly even when you knew you were wrong? Has your pride ever prevented you from saying "I'm sorry" to someone you have wronged? Have you ever taken pride in concluding that your sins really aren't all that bad? You see, we can easily become prisoners of our pride. Pride causes our jaw to jut out; our upper lip to become stiff; and our neck to bow in stubbornness. Pride can prevent us from ever understanding the happiness that comes to those who experience genuine regret and sorrow over their sins.
Jesus did not speak the beatitudes to unbelievers. Those were his disciples (followers) who gathered around him and sat down on the mountainside to hear Jesus. Only those who have experienced God's love personally can understand this beatitude. God wants us to experience His joy (John 15:11). However, we cannot experience this kind of joy and comfort until we learn to swallow our pride and be sorrowful for our sins. Henry Blackaby says: "If we do not grieve over the weight of our sin, we have no concept of sin's devastating power. If we take our sin lightly, we demonstrate that we have no sense of the enormity of our offense against almighty God."
There are two basic kinds of sorrow: "Godly sorrow," and "worldly sorrow." Godly sorrow always leads to repentance, forgiveness, comfort, happiness, and life. Worldly sorrow brings only misery and death. This distinction is found in 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 NIV: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."
Worldly sorrow might mean being sorry that we got caught; or being sorrowful because we must endure the consequences for our actions. However, Godly sorrow is admitting our sin to God, being sorry (mourning) and heart-broken for that sin, and, in repentance, depending upon God to forgive us and give us the happiness He has promised. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9 NIV).
Jesus said, those who mourn "shall be comforted." This is strength, peace, and contentment that comes from companionship with God. Only those who experience the abundance of God's love can receive divine happiness and comfort.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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