“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32, NLT
How on earth can we be happy in an unhappy world? We have been deceived into thinking that material success will bring happiness. But the sad reality is that money and success often leads to pride, greed, and envy that generates more stress, unhappiness and meaninglessness. It is foolish and futile to chase after success to seek happiness. Fear of failure, fear of missing out and fear of death will keep us from the joys of living. True success comes from happiness rooted in the love of God.
Happiness is found in the kingdom of heaven where we can have Transforming Listening Conversations with God, free from a fearful and slavish obedience to a set of rules. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come on earth.1 He gave us the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in the Beatitudes2. The greatest secret is that we can live in heaven here and now when our minds are rewired and our hearts changed by the Holy Spirit.
We need a radical change in how we see God’s relationship with us, our relationship with God and our relationship with one another. Jesus came to open our eyes to God’s mysterious plan that the Holy Spirit is in us to empower us to fulfill God’s will in our lives. We are to set our sights on the realities of heaven. God is our loving Heavenly Father whose greatest happiness is to give us the Kingdom of Heaven:
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”3
Jesus came to set us free from the fear of death and suffering.4 God wants us to live in the joy of His Presence, Providence and Power for everything in life. Like a loving father, God wants us to live with intentional intimacy with Him in His Kingdom as this gives Him great happiness. The Beatitudes are the “be-attitudes” of a poverty of spirit, a spirit of mourning, a spirit of humility, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, a forgiving spirit, a pure mind, a peaceful heart and a spirit of perseverance. We need these “be-attitudes” to overcome the sins of lust, anger, pride, gluttony, greed, envy and acedia that draws us away from God’s grace and disfigures the image of God in us.
The daily doses of bad news of war, pandemics and rising petrol prices are but alarm bells warning us of the folly and futility of a life without the love of God. The good news is that God’s goodness and unfailing love pursues us5 when we rest in Him – we do not have to chase after happiness! We need to wake up to the truth that we are living in the hell of our own thoughts6 which blind and deafen us to the awesome thoughts of God that are way beyond our human understanding.7 God wants us to know the great secret that Christ lives in us and we have the blessed assurance of sharing his riches and glory in heaven.8
We need to be like children and babies singing songs of praise9 to lead us to the Rock that is higher than our problems so that we can stand on the precious truth that God’s ways are beyond our understanding and imagination.10 Faith is not blind when our vision is focused on the realities of God’s Kingdom. Through centering prayer, we can grow in awareness of our selfish thoughts, worldly thoughts and sinful thoughts and replace them with godly thoughts. We can detoxify our hearts by choosing to think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable.11 We can choose not to waste time with the fake news in the social media but to feed on God’s Word each day as we sing:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Man does not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Lord, help me to seek Your Kingdom to find real happiness.
1. What are the fears in life that I need to face?
2. How am I seeking happiness in life?
3. What does it mean to live in the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now?
Song of Praise
Seek Ye First
1. Matthew 6:10
2. Matthew 5:1-12, EASY
3. Luke 12:32, NLT
4. Hebrews 2:14-15, NLT
5. Psalms 23:6, NLT
6. Romans 1:28-32, NLT
7. Isaiah 55:8, NLT
8. Colossians 1:27, NLT
9. Psalms 8:2, ERV
10. Isaiah 55:8, NLT
11. Philippians 4:8, NLT
12. Seek Ye First, Maranatha! Singers
‘Happy are the people who know that they need God very much. The kingdom of heaven belongs to people like that.
Happy are the people who are sad now. God will come near to help them.
Happy are the people who are kind. The whole earth will belong to them.
Happy are the people who want to obey God, as much as they want to eat food. God will give to them everything that they need.
Happy are the people who help other people and who forgive them. God will forgive people like that.
Happy are the people who have only good thoughts. They will come near to God and see him.
Happy are the people who bring people together to be friends. God will call them his children.
Happy are the people who do what is right but other people hurt them because of it. The kingdom of heaven belongs to people like that.”
Matthew 5:3-10 EASY