Day 1: Sadness is the doorway to happiness
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
When the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Over the years several people have asked me to teach them guitar. I usually agree but I know that almost no one makes it past the stage of blistered fingers. To play the guitar, you have to suffer. Your fingers will ache. They’ll feel like they’ll pop out of joint. You’ll probably give up long before there is any music.
Following Jesus is the same. Jesus did not come to paint a smiley face on you and call it good. He came to overhaul you completely. You may find this challenging. You may be tempted to give up. Don’t!
Over the next seven weeks you will discover how to trust, to hope, to love. Jesus will teach you the purpose for your life and fill you with heaven’s peace. The payoff is extraordinary: Eternal life. The Kingdom of God.
But we don’t start on the mountaintop. We begin in the valley. The first step is to realize how desperately you need God. If you fail to do this, you’ll drop out. You’ll be a seed that doesn’t take root (See Mark 4:3-20). If you want a quick repair job, Jesus is not your man. He only does total overhauls. If you cling to your old life you cannot receive Christ’s new one.
So here is the question for today: What is your doorway to happiness? I’m not asking what makes you happy. I’m asking what makes you sad. In other words, where are you broken?
- Are your angry about something that others have done to you?
- Frustrated with God for not stepping in to do something?
- Embarrassed by some secret sin?
- Mourning over a broken relationship?
These are not good things in themselves but the end of your old life is the beginning of God’s new one. Only when you know you’re sick do you go to the doctor.
Listen again to the words of Jesus
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
“Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
So I ask you again: Where are you broken?
This week Jesus will show you something extraordinary. Your brokenness is the key to happiness.