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HOW TO BE a Christian!


A lot of people think that if they were rich, thin or famous, then they would be happy.  I don't know if we ponder it much, but those higher ups are just as miserable as everyone else.  Some are so miserable that they take drugs to dull their pain.  So the answer to being more happy can't be money, a thin figure or having the adoration of the world, even though we are sold those lies. 

Happiness is one thing for the general public and something completely different for those that follow God. When bad things happen, some people think that God is a meanie who really enjoys laying the whip to our backs, but, it is not so.  There is a great plan going on, and Psalm 23 says, "You lead me in the paths of righteousness for your own name's sake."  God called you because of what He wants to has nothing to do with you at all! 

God's purpose for this life is not our complete happiness.  God is leading us in the paths of righteousness for His own reasons. God knows that something better is coming down the line.  We have no real clue, so we have to wait for God to come though for us.  He will. This life is never going to bring us complete happiness.  It is impossible for anything short of God's Kingdom to bring total happiness and satisfaction. 


The Beatitudes might seem confusing to some, Christ said some things that contradict what we think we know about happiness.  But He is speaking to His followers, to converted people, to Christians, not to the general public.  Remember the word blessed means "happy," from Makarios, meaning: "...supremely blest; fortunate, well off, happy." 

So, let's look at Matthew 5:3-12 and we'll insert the word "happy." True happiness will come to God's people, but note, much of this passage uses future tense, "will."  They will be comforted, they will see God, they will inherit the earth...their truest happiness will be in the future, not now.


Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Happy are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Happy are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Happy are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

"Jump for Joy"

Even though you try to follow God as best as you can yet personal attacks, persecution and insults come your way, what does Christ say our reaction should be?  He says literally  be glad, (agalliao) which means "jump for joy."  Jump for joy because great reward will be coming to you in the future for putting up with all of the things you have to deal with.  God is going to make everything right and payday will be sweet. But payday is not now...we have to wait just a little! 

Christ continues,

"Happy are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice
(chairo, meaning cheerful, calmly happy." ) and be glad, (agalliao - jump for joy!) because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." 


Revelation 22 is the last chapter of the Bible, here we see confirmation of payday, and great reward.  "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."  We do have to put up with some things now, but it will be worth it!  It will be worth it.