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  1. TITLE: When You Think You Have It Hard • TOPIC: The Easy Burden of Character: • TEXT: Matthew 5:1-12 • THEME: The believer can find happiness in character producing events.

  2. Old Song Title “Looking for love in all the wrong places.”

  3. Old Song Title “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” If one took the word “love” and replaced it with the word “happiness” you would have something that is just as true. Too many people are looking for happiness in all the wrong places.

  4. Probing Question "Will I ever be happy? Will I ever be satisfied?"

  5. Matthew 5:1-12 1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  6. Matthew 5:1-12 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. Matthew 5:1-12 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God

  8. Matthew 5:1-12 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

  9. Matthew 5:1-12 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  10. How does a person experience lasting happiness?

  11. I. Happiness is the Promise of Jesus

  12. I. Happiness is the Promise of Jesus A. The Meaning of Happiness

  13. Makarios The Greek people thought their gods had it made, and they used the word to describe this unbelievable state of well-being in which the gods lived.

  14. Eulogetos Another Greek word translated blessed but has the idea of praise bestowed upon us (i.e., eulogy).

  15. Makarios living is what Jesus has in mind for his people.

  16. I Timothy 1:11 "the blessed God.”

  17. I Timothy 1:11 • "the blessed God" • God is pictured as contented, fulfilled, and complete. God is in essence happy, joyful. He is in essence makarios.

  18. I. Happiness is the Promise of Jesus A. The Meaning of Happiness. B. Happiness is Jesus desire for us.

  19. John 10:10 “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”

  20. Philippians 4:4-14 “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”

  21. Philippians 4:4-14 “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” Paul later tells how He learned to be content no matter what the circumstances.

  22. Eternal life fits this understanding of happiness. • Literal meaning is, “age into the age

  23. Eternal life fits this understanding of happiness. • Literal meaning is, “age into the age.” • It was understood to be the quality of life that the gods, and our case, God experiences

  24. Eternal life fits this understanding of happiness. • Literal meaning is, “age into the age.” • It was understood to be the quality of life that the gods, and our case, God experiences. • The implication is that the quality of life that we expect to live in heaven we can enjoy now.

  25. The great quest of the human soul, wherever you go throughout this wide world of ours, is basically, "How can I find makarios?"

  26. How does a person experience lasting happiness?

  27. II. Happiness is the Product of Character

  28. Eight Character Traits • The poor in spirit are happy - not those who push others around • Those who mourn have seen the depth of the world's suffering and of their own sin, and it has broken their heart.

  29. Eight Character Traits • The meek are happy in a way to which the big-headed can never aspire • Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are happy, not the bloated. Jesus is not talking of physical starvation, but of spiritual.

  30. Eight Character Traits • The merciful are happy in a way the legalist can never understand. They have tasted the sheer mercy of God who received them into the kingdom. • The pure in heart have a joy to which lust is a complete stranger 'Pure' means unalloyed, unadulterated

  31. Eight Character Traits • There is a special joy for the peacemakers. Self-assertiveness and divisive spirit know nothing of peacemaking. • The persecuted can be happy. They may appear to have lost everything but it is not so. They gain the kingdom of heaven.

  32. II. Happiness is the Product of Character A. Character is produced by perseverance.

  33. Romans 5:3-4 “3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

  34. II Peter 1:6 “4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

  35. II Peter 1:6 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”

  36. II. Happiness is the Product of Character A. Character is produced by perseverance. B. Character is by testing. (Developed and Tested)

  37. James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

  38. James 5:10-11 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

  39. Reese Witherspoon “I don't watch any movie I'm in. It's horrifying. I'll just focus on something stupid like, "I hate my laugh. Why did I smile?" Sometimes I look at myself and think, "Dude, I have the biggest, goofiest smile on earth.”

  40. How does a person experience lasting happiness?

  41. III. Happiness is a Perception of Reality

  42. III. Happiness is a Perception of Reality A. It sees circumstances in light of reality.

  43. III. Happiness is a Perception of Reality A. It sees circumstances in light of reality. B.It sees circumstances in light of Jesus.

  44. I Peter 4:12-14 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.