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To begin the new year we are starting on Sundays with “The Way to Happiness”. 

Everyone wants to be happy, and the New Testament is the greatest authority on happiness.

Jesus gives is the key that will unlock the door to happiness.

This key is found in the eight Beatitudes.

Did you know the word “Blessed” is sometimes translated as “Happy”.

Today is part 2 Sorrow, The way to Happiness.

Text

Matthew 5:4 (ESV)

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

Scripture Reading

Matthew 5:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 7-10

Prayer

Lord, it’s good to be alive and in your house today.

We bring everything we have to you today.

All we have is given by you. So we offer what we have and give you thanks. In Jesus mighty name.

Amen.

Introduction

The way to happiness is outlined in the first twelve verses of Matthew 5.

Last Sunday we noted that the word “blessed” the Beatitudes could also be translated to “happy”.

In the first Beatitude , Jesus said the initial step toward happiness is humility, being “poor in spirit”.

We find a very strange statement in the second beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

What would you think of a person who said to a crying child, “why are you so happy?”

You would probably think that this person was either crazy or just plain cruel!

The response to Christ’s remark that a mourning person is happy has been similar.

The statement doesn’t seem to add up.

So we now need to remind ourselves that the beatitudes were not spoken to unbelievers but to the disciples.

Remember verse 1? “And seeing the multitudes, He went up into the mountain, and when He was set. The disciples came unto Him.”

What Jesus said regarding the way to happiness is directed to Christians alone, those who are capable of experiencing life at its highest level of happiness.

“Blessed (happy) are they that mourn.” 

Does this refer to those people who wander around with a dismal attitude, or those that when we se them we try to avoid them because of they always have bad news?

Not at all!

This verse could be translated more like, Jesus said, “how happy are those that know the meaning of sorrow, for they will be given courage and comfort!”

There are two types of sorrow. One leads to happiness and the other leads to misery.

One carries with it a blessing and the other nothing at all.

One leads to life, and the other death.

Paul distinguished between the two in 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 (ESV)

8 For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. 

9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

To understand this beatitude and experience the happiness it promises, we need to recognise sorrow that leads to misery and sorrow that leads to happiness.

  1. Sorrow that leads to misery.

When Jesus said “Blessed are they that mourn,” He meant a different type of mourning than what most people experience.

Too often our sorrow is the wrong Lind.

It is what Paul called “worldly sorrow that brings death”

But exactly what type of sorrow leads to Misery?

  1. Sorrow because of getting caught.

Remember Psalm 32:10 (ESV)

10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.

And one of their many sorrows is that of getting caught.

The thief who is arrested, the drug dealer who is caught, the student that cheats, or the husband of wife who is unfaithful may be sorry to have been caught, but this sorrow has no blessing because it is void of repentance.

Prisons are full of people who are sorry they got caught, but who are not sorry for their sin.

If given another chance, often they would do the same thing again, we can see this through the massive number of repeat offenders.

Theirs is a sorrow that leads not to happiness but misery.

2. Sorrow because of failing in a sinful venture.

The bible warns us in Psalm 7:15 (NIV) that

15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made.

And in 1 Corinthians 3:19 (ESV)

19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”

For example, a man crashes his car and the frame in bent.

He has it repaired and re painted , and then tries to sell it with out telling any prospective buyer the truth.

The buyer likes the car, and takes it for a test drive and has a mechanic have a look at it.

To the mechanics trained eye, the damage is clear.

The buyer returns the damaged vehicle and the sale falls through.

The owner of the car is sorry but only because his scheme to deceive someone dissent work and he was exposed.

This type of sorrow may result in failure to destroy another persons reputation or failure to be known as something more than we know ourselves to be.

3. Sorrow because of the consequences suffered.

Sorrow for consequences rather than sin leads to misery.

Simon the sorcerer thought Peter and John had magic more powerful than he had ever seen, so he offered them money and said in Acts 8:19-24 (ESV)

19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 

20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 

21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 

22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 

23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” 

24 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Simon wasn’t sorry for his sin, but asked Peter to pray so the consequences of his sin might be removed.

There is sorrow that leads to misery because of the consequence suffered.

But the sorrow Jesus spoke about in the second beatitude is different, it is sorrow that leads to happiness.

2. Sorrow that leads to happiness.

In contrast to the worlds sorrow that brings death, Paul recommended “godly sorrow that brings repentance that leads to salvation.

  1. Sorrow that is born of conviction.

 2 Corinthians 7:8 (ESV) again says

8 For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. 

Paul is saying “ I can see my letter upset you, but only for a little while, and now I am glad I sent it, not because I want to hurt you but because it made you Greece the things that were wrong.

The Corinthians sorrow eventually lead to happiness because it came from conviction.

Maybe we could read the beatitude like this.

“Blessed are those who are ashamed of themselves, for their ugliness of character, and their disgusting conduct.”

Sorrow for sin is not a symptom of a sick soul, it is evidence of improving health.

People who are deeply convicted of their sin will come to God as instinctively as sick people to a doctor.

This is type of sorrow leads to happiness.

2. Sorrow that is expressed.

Sorrow that leads to happiness eventually expresses itself.

It cannot be contained! 

The word used for to mourn is one of the strongest words in the Greek language.

Often it is used for mourning the dead.

It is the top of grief that intensely grips a person that cant be hidden.

It brings not only heartache and tears but also confession and a changed life.

A. Through confession. David’s return to purity and therefore happiness began with his confession in, Psalm 51:3-4 (ESV)

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

B. Through a changed life. “the sorrow which God uses, means a change of heart and leads to salvation.

People are really changed when they come up against something that opens their eyes to what sin is and to what sin does.

Someone might go their own way and never think about the effects or consequences.

Then oneway that same person might see a friend destroyed by drugs or alcohol, or immorality.

Suddenly they see sin for what it is and experiences a cutting sorrow for their own sin, which is expressed through a changed life..

3. Sorrow that is blessed. 

Jesus said “Blessed are they that mourn”.

Here blessed has a dual meaning. It means both blessed and happy.

Four blessings result from sorrow that leads to happiness.

  1. Forgiveness of sin. 1 John 1:9 promises If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

No one who mourns over their sin can know the comfort that is promised until their sins are forgiven.

So long as the burden and guilt of sin rests heavily on them, they cannot be comforted.

It is when they experience the loving forgiveness of Christ that comfort and the “peace that passes all understanding become theirs.

2. Restoration and fellowship. 1 John 1:7 says  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

David’s lust lead to murder, which intern led to falsehood and estrangement from God.

Following Nathan’s accusation, David became deeply convicted by his sin.

His personal anguish is recorded in Psalm 51. Then he prayed for the restoration of fellowship, Psalm 51:12 (ESV) says,

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

His sorrow led to confession, which led to forgiveness, which led to restoration of fellowship with God.

3. Strengthening of character. Matthew 5:4 (ESV)

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Some versions also add they will be given courage.

Sorrow can have a godly reference, God can turn sickness and sorrow into good.

Romans 8:28 (ESV) tells us

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

God uses sorrow to build character and bring happiness.

You cannot reverse the beatitude to say “blessed are those who never mourn, blessed are they who are always lighthearted and never serious” 

If there was no sorrow and suffering there would be no sympathy.

4. God’s comfort.

Jesus said that those who mourn shall be comforted, we should look as comfort more as bracing instead of soothing.

It speaks of strength that comes from companionship with God. 

Jesus assured us, out of His knowledge of life and His rich experience of the human heart, that only those who enter fully into the depths of life, their own and others, are truly blessed.

Only those who enter into the abundance of God’s life receive the blessing of divine comfort.

Conclusion.

All around us are people looking to find fault, they are on the prowl to heap guilt and blame on others.

But you and I can join the blessed minority who care and are willing to mourn even with those who are to blame.

When we become such mourners, we will both comfort and be comforted.

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at Refinery Life Church

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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