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Living Happy

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Sermon for Graduation 2018

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Congratulations

You have reached a significant milestone in your life, congratulations. Your graduation from high school is an achievement worth celebration.
In a sense, high school graduation is a transition into adulthood. Even though many go onto college rather than straight into working full-time, their responsibilities increase and they must do more for themselves and do not always have mom and dad to take care of the big responsibilities of life.

Living Happy

Have any of you ever heard that “God doesn’t want you to be happy. He wants you to be holy.” Some think well I can enjoy life or I can be a Christian.
This is a lie. It’s a false dichotomy. God created us with a capacity for joy and happiness. We are wired to crave and work towards happiness. But to experience happiness we must live life the way our creator designed us to live.
Today, I want to briefly look at some of what Jesus taught us about how to live a happy life.
Today, I want to breifly look at some of what Jesus taught us about how to live a happy life.
Please turn to . Read through once and come back to it

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed - can mean enjoying God’s favor, and is a direct synonym of Happy. So here we have a word that we can substitute happy with.
This is a lie. It’s a false dichotomy. God created us with a capacity for joy and happiness. We are wired to crave and work towards happiness. But to experience happiness we must live life the way our creator designed us to live.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

- Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

We have all met rich people, poor people, middle class people who are happy, and we have all met rich people, poor people, and middle class people are unhappy.
It takes some longer than others to realize that Possessions do not equal happiness. The sooner in life you learn that life is not about seeing how much you can accumulate, the happier you will be.
A working definition of Poor in Spirit - People who are daily dependent on God regardless of what they have or don’t have.
Listen carefully, the moment you begin to put your trust in anything other than God, you will be unhappy.
We cannot put our trust in our riches (education, possessions - where we live, what we drive, our money, connections, etc,) and be happy.
We become unhappy when we trust in things other than God because we began to be burdened by the responsibility for controlling outcomes. We cannot control outcomes there are too many variables in life; we can influence outcomes but we cannot control them.
Live dependent upon God knowing that He cares for you and will provide all that you need.

- Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

People who mourn are those who realize that we live in a fallen world, their is injustice in the world, their is tragedy in the world.
Hopefully each of you have decades ahead of you in life, but the earlier you realize the truth that all of our lives have a beginning and an end, you can live with more wisdom each day.
Don’t live in fear of death. Living in fear of death will rob us of the joy of living.

- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

In our culture, meek is a very misunderstood word.
None of you growing up had on your list, when I grow up, I want to be meek.
None of you when looking for a boyfriend, said “I want someone who is meek.”
We think of meek as weakness But meek is not weak.
Meekness is a proper estimation or valuation of yourself within the broader context of God’s creation and love.
A meek person is someone who realizes that they are a part of God’s creation and that they have a God-ordained purpose in the world, but they are not the center of it.
You want to be happy in your life?
Embrace meekness - realize that God is the center of the universe not you.

- Blessed are those hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Jesus was in effect saying, “Happy are those with no guilt, no regret, and a clear conscience. ”
Happy are those who are committed to doing the right thing.
Search for what Gods says is the right thing to do, and do it. This will lead to your greatest satisfaction in life.
Search for what Gods says is the right thing to do, and do it.
All of us in this room can look back on our regrets and the mistakes we made, and even though we may have briefly found pleasure in unrighteousness, we know that it did not lead to our happiness.
None of us here think, if I could only go back to school I would have got in more trouble and flunked more class.
Doing the wrong thing leads to guilt, shame, and regrets.
In life you will never look back and say, I wish I had not done the right thing.
Remember, ““Happy are those with no guilt, no regret, and a clear conscience. ”

- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

This one might be my favo.
Jesus is saying, Happy are those who forgive others because God has forgiven them.
They are not seeking revenge. They aren’t carrying bitterness in their heart.
None of us have ever met a happy - bitter person.
Listen, people are going to hurt you, they are going to disappoint you, and you can choose to give it to God and forgive them, or you can choose to let it make you bitter.
Choose to give your hurts to God and allow him to heal. Choose to forgive others. You don’t have to trust them again, but you don’t have to allow bitterness towards them to harden your heart.
Don’t allow other’s mistakes to rob you of the joy of living.

- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Would you like to see God? Would you like to recognize God’s plan in your life?
Would you like to see with clarity? To look at situations, opportunities, and circumstances in your life and see with wisdom. To know what God would have you to do. To know what will lead to happiness and what will lead to regret?
The answer is very simple but difficult.
Live with purity.
Be a gatekeeper for your heart and refuse to allow anything not of God to enter.
Always go God’s way and you will live a blessed life.

- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Why should we be peacemakers?
God sought us out and paid our sin debt on the cross so he could have peace with us and we imitate Him (as His children) by making peace with others.
Let me ask you this:
Do you know any happy trouble makers? Do you know anyone who is happy who is regularly talking bad about others? Of course not.
So in life, choose to be one who works towards peace in circumstances and in relationships.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

We read this and we say, now how do “persecuted” and happy go together?
Let me let you in on a secret, one I’m sure you’ve heard by now and you probably already know this intuitively.
But I want to remind you of it and reinforce it:
Some people are going to talk bad about you whether you do the right thing or the wrong thing.
Some people are not going to like you no matter what you could do to please them.
In this life you are going to suffer for doing right or for doing wrong.
So pay attention here:
You might as well do what pleases God, be blessed for it, and allow people to think and do whatever they please.
You cannot be happy doing the wrong thing
To sum this up:
Live for the audience of One. When you stand before God, no one else’s opinion will matter at all.
So live for his glory and experience the happiness that comes from living life the way He designed.
I want you to come forward, we are all going to circle around you and pray for you.
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