HAPPY: Beatitudes for Life
Does God Care About Our Happiness?
I've heard some preachers say "God is not concerned with our Happiness". If by that they mean that God does not exist to make us happy by giving us whatever we want all the time, I would agree.
I cannot agree that God is not at all concerned about our happiness, especially in light of the opening section of Jesus's "Sermon on the Mount" known as "The Beatitudes".
It is important to realize, however, that God is interested in our Eternal happiness more than just our temporal, or Earthly, happiness. Only God knows what it takes to achieve eternal happiness.
Nine times at the beginning of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus uses the word "Blessed". Blessed simply means "Happy". He teaches saying "Blessed Are...", or "Happy Are...", people who have the attitude that follows. It's not happiness like that found in, and defined by, this present evil world.
In this sermon, Jesus spoke of a Kingdom that He brought with Him. A kingdom that is deposited in those who believe Him. He refers to it as the "Kingdom of Heaven" or the "Kingdom of God".
You probably know that the word "Gospel" means "Good News". He referred to the Gospel He preached as the "Gospel of the Kingdom". In other words the "Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven" or the "Kingdom of God".
A kingdom is a place where a king has dominion and influence. His influence determines what it will be like to live in that kingdom. As a result that kingdom reflects that character and attributes of that king. So, If the king is evil, that kingdom will be evil. If that king is Good, that kingdom will be good.
We know that Jehovah God is the only authority, or power, in all of creation. He has made a couple of very important concessions, however. The first is the power of free will for mankind. The second is the right for Satan to exert his influence in this world. He is the option to God and God's kingdom between which we must choose.
So the "Sermon on the Mount" is Jesus's instructions on how to live that Kingdom life, as much as is possible, right here on Earth. It seems that the mantra of this kingdom life is the word "Happy".
It appears that God is indeed concerned with our happiness both here and in eternity. The word "Beatitude" is not found in the Bible, but is the correct word to describe these teachings because it means "Supreme Happiness".
What is coming are a series of blogs where we will dig into these nine Beatitudes, or attributes that lead to happiness both now and in eternity.
Just studying these Beatitudes will not do much for us unless we commit to the practice of these instructions along with their study.
I hope you will join me on the quest to live Happy as God defines happiness. God doesn't hold His citizens captive, or take them by force into His kingdom. God wants us to want to live in His kingdom, because we know Him, that He is Good.