Matthew 5: 3-8 (NIV) 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
God didn’t create us to be miserable. Why would he? What sense would it make for him to create people only to watch us suffer in misery? He created us for paradise. That’s where he originally placed us, and where we can go back to if we will simply say yes to him. That’s the gospel in a nutshell. Just as I want my children to be happy, so God wants his children happy.
So Jesus begins his ministry by telling us how to do this. Blessed means happy. Look at what he is saying: poor in spirit means you realize you are a sinner who needs God’s help. Mourning, in this context, means you want to repent. You are sorry that you are not living up to God’s standards. To be meek is to be under God’s control. It means you have surrendered to Him.
If we want to be happy, it begins by becoming right with God. This is why we were created and is the only way to find true contentment in this life. Jesus gives us right standing with God, then shows us how to become more and more righteous so our fellowship with Him is not impaired or broken. The real secret is that he begins to make us more and more like him.
This doesn’t mean we will never sin again, but it means Jesus will give us a new heart. We will be born again. The Sermon on the Mount teaches us that God isn’t interested in religion, but in us having a relationship with him. This is where happiness begins.
Jesus ends this sermon by saying we are wise if we listen to what he says and put it into practice. Then we can face the storms that this life throws at us. And yes, we can even be happy.