An unhappy skeptic said to Benjamin Franklin, “The Constitution is a mockery! Where’s the happiness that it guarantees?”
“My friend,” said Franklin, “it only guarantees the pursuit of happiness.”
Our word for happiness can be misleading. The “root” hap means chance. Human happiness is something that is dependent on the chances and the changes of life, the daily “things” – events or circumstances – that may or may not give us “happiness.”
Consider the beatitudes. They are not about some hope for a future, blissful state in heaven. They are for the now which belongs to the Christian in this present life. The way the beatitudes are written assures the Christian of the presence of God, the joyous thrill of His presence and the hope of the Christian life.
The word blessed that is used in each of the beatitudes is a very special word. It describes a joy that has its secret within ourselves - a joy that is peaceful and untouchable and self-contained. It is a joy that is above and beyond and independent of all the circumstances of life. It is a joy that comes from God Himself. “No one,” said Jesus, “will take your joy from you!” Walking daily with Him assures us of a joy no one or nothing can disturb.
Prayer: Give us, our Heavenly Father, a peace that passes this world’s understanding, a joy that comes from Your presence and a hope that assures us of our home with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 5:1-12 …Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.