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"....To the church in thy house..." Philemon 1:2
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

October 2013 A Publication of Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships Vol 04 - Issue 03

What is Your Picture of a Happy Life? – Part 2

by Wallace Woodward


Happiness in sadness

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

HOW can happiness be found in a place of sadness? Well, that’s a good question. This “mourning” is not talking about the grumps and sour spirits of the world, it’s talking about those who have a real sense of the nature of their sin, and are truly sorry for it, and who ask God for forgiveness.

Jeremiah 31:13 “. . . I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.”

It is only as we perceive the true nature of sin, and are thus led to mourn its dreadful results, and to seek God’s forgiveness, that he can bring us comfort. We are told even by worldly counselors today, (not that I put a lot of stock in counselors, psychiatrists, or psychologist) that mourning and tears are part of the grieving process; that where there is no grieving, it hampers the healing process; and that if they hold back, and don’t go through this grieving process, that it can turn into hatred, resentment, and anger.

2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

There is no regret in godly sorrow, for it results in forgiveness, and finally in salvation.

James 4:8-10 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

God will lift us up, only after we have gone through this time of affliction and mourning, as it says in Revelation 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

That’s something to be joyful and happy about. Once we’ve mourned over our sins, and confessed our sins, we find happiness in the forgiveness and cleansing we receive from God.

Happiness in humility

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

There is a lot of misunderstanding over the word meekness today. To the modern mind meekness is a trait to avoid; for to the worldly minded meekness is associated with weakness, but this just isn’t true. Meekness is not weakness. It may rhyme, but the similarity stops there. In fact, its meaning is just the opposite of weakness; for meekness is strength under control. Meekness requires inner strength. Only let those who doubt this conclusion try to follow Jesus’ example: Let them turn the other cheek when smitten. Let them practice self-control, giving back good for evil. Let them go the second mile, when duty only requires them to go the first mile. These all represent the fruit of meekness. Meekness is self-control; though it is not the work of self at all, but is the result of yielding self to Christ. Jesus did his Father’s will; he had yielded his will to that of his Father. The only truly meek people are those who understand the self-control the Bible talks about – the self-control that is the result of the spirit of God getting control of our lives.

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”
Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 26:52-53 “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”

This is an amazing passage when you stop to think about it – the control that Jesus had. Here is the epitome of meekness; for he had the authority to call twelve legions of angels, but didn’t. It’s one thing to be meek when you can’t do anything else, but it is an entirely different thing to be meek when, with one word, you could simply obliterate your opponents. Jesus had all the power and strength of heaven on his side, but by meekness, he yielded to his Father’s will.

While we may live on a planet that has gone mad, an earth where illusion and delusion rule; yet those that are in control of planet earth will go the way of all men. This earth doesn’t belong to the rich and powerful; for Jesus says that it is the inheritance of the meek.

Happiness in hunger and thirst

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

The worldly thinker looks at happiness in opposite terms – “happy are the full and satisfied,” but Jesus turns this concept up-side-down. No literal hunger for physical food is here intended, but a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Only those who are not self-satisfied and content with their present condition will be blessed. No, sir, none who think themselves rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing shall find true satisfaction.

Picture us for a moment as God’s family – children sitting at our heavenly Father’s table – we have come, saying, “We are hungry”. In his goodness, God offers us the best of food: bread, fruits, and vegetables; but we say to him, “I’m not hungry for that. I want real food.” Just as children are at times unwilling to accept good food, so we too are often unwilling to accept the righteousness of God, but would rather have some other righteousness. I think of the children of Israel:

Exodus 16:2-4 “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. 4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”

They could not endure a little hunger. They lusted for the “real food” of Egypt. They were spiritually blind, and failed to see that God had good things in store for them. They wanted the “fast-food” of their day, Egyptian style. Spiritually we are at times too willing to settle for that “good enough” spiritual life, rather than to settle for a little time of hunger and thirst after something better.

John 6:56-58 “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”

Happiness in forgiveness

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Most of us would agree that mercy is a blessing when received, but Jesus does not say, “blessed are those that obtain mercy,” instead he says, “blessed are the merciful,” meaning those who give mercy. We all have been hurt deeply by others, and we all have felt that restlessness of soul until we surrendered our pride, and forgave the one who had wounded us. Maybe that person didn’t know it or didn’t even care, but you knew and you cared; and forgiveness was the way you finally found peace, the blessing of the merciful. In forgiving you found true happiness. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” If God can forgive us our sin against him, which is infinitely greater than any earthly wrong we have suffered, then cannot we learn to forgive others, and be children of our heavenly Father?

Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

What is Your Picture of a Happy Life? - Part 2
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Health Corner -  Drug Resistant Pathogens
There has been an alarming increase of infections due to antibiotic resistant bacteria in recent years. Two million Americans get these infections a year, and at least 23,000 die as a result. The future looks gloomy for the medical establishment but there is hope in God's simple remedies.

Think on These Things - Ecumenism
Seperations can be painful ... Is it necessary or even biblical?

Special Mission Report
Brother Chris Sparks shares an encouraging missionry report from Papau New Guinea and the Philippines.

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Seventh Day Home Church Fellowships is an association of Sabbath-keeping groups, which through web & tele-conferencing provides means for study, fellowship, and jointly organized missionary projects.

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