Happy are the Unhappy

We have no lack of causes for unhappiness. We may be sad because our investments have lost value, dashing our hopes and threatening our financial future. Failure in work or in love can provoke deep sorrow. Rejection by those who should love us leaves a deep scar. Loneliness can lead to depression, as can constant friction with family or friends. Worst of all are the death of a loved one and the death of a marriage. In this passage, usually called The Beatitudes, Jesus gives hints of another type of mourning, however (Matthew 5:3-12). The poor in spirit mourn because of their lack of faith, hope, and love. They know they possess few inner resources to know and serve God, and this causes them sorrow. The meek mourn when they see bullies pushing and shoving the weak out of the way. Those with more aggressive attitudes are sad when they lose their temper or act with insolence and pride, for they know this displeases their Lord. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are keenly aware of their sins, and long for the day when they will be like our holy Lord. When they ponder the injustice in the world, they weep for those who are suffering. The merciful cannot bear to see others being treated with harshness and contempt, for they remember how kindly and gently God has dealt with them. Those who want to be pure in heart bewail their inner uncleanness, and beg God to create in them a clean heart. They wait eagerly for the day when they see God face to face, for they know that only then will they be pure, even as He is pure. The ever-present conflicts around us break the heart of peacemakers. We can understand why those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake or for Christ and His Gospel would suffer intense pain. Their undeserved ordeal cannot but wound their hearts and make them cry out for the coming of God’s kingdom. To all these, Jesus promises comfort. This divine consolation will be complete and everlasting, which is why believers in Christ can be happy even when they are unhappy.