Michael Youssef - Happiness is in You - Part 2
We have begun this new series last message entitled "Happiness is in You". It's not something you just strive for it, Jesus said it's in you, you've gotta figure out where it is and how you get it. Happiness is in you. Turn with me please to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 verse 4. "Blessed," happy, fortunate, and in the Greek is what? Makarios, say it with me. "Happy are those who mourn". Now, at first glance, you've gotta scratch your head, and you shake your head, and say, "Wait a minute, Michael, how could that be? How can be happy are the unhappy? It doesn't make sense".
So, let me remind you Jesus is not talking about the feeling of happiness. Those feelings of happiness, they are fleeting moments, because they depend on the circumstances, and they go out the window with the circumstances. He is talking about the deep, deep, deep joy that comes from mourning, from grieving over our sin. First I need to stop here and explain something. The word "mourning" here, or grieving, is not, let me repeat this, it is not the kind of mourning and grieving that we all experience when we lose our loved ones. That's not what he's talking about. I'm gonna come to that in details. It is not even the mourning over financial losses.
Now, I know that can happen. It is not even mourning over a loss of a relationship, a breakup of a relationship, a marriage or elsewhere. The second step in the super structure we call the Beatitudes, you're gonna find that mourning is the extension of being poor in spirit. It's the extension of being broken on the inside. Mourning takes brokenness a step further, that morning over sin acts upon our brokenness. That mourning is the expression of our brokenness on the inside. Today you hear Jesus saying that when you mourn, when you grieve over our sin, we are blessed, we are comforted, why? Because we will experience that comfort, that joy, that strength of his forgiveness and it can only come from his forgiveness.
Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm confronted with my failures and with my sins, I deeply grieve. Oh, it's not just the regret, not just the remorse, it's not just, "Oh, I feel bad about doing this". No, no, no, no, no, no, I grieve over the fact that I have offended my best friend that I have in this whole world, the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Jesus. Actual mourning over sin, mourning over our failure and shortcomings creates a door. Not opens the door, creates the door, because it's gonna be created, and that door makes it possible for God to enter into our hearts with his glorious presence.
Hear me out, please. When we take pride in our sin and parade it, when we are blase about sin, when we are carefree about sin, God has a hard time reaching us. I know it's true in my life, I know it's true in your life. God has a hard time getting our attention. When all is well, when everything is running smoothly, we take God for granted. We take him for granted. The older I get and the deeper I go with God, the more I'm aware of my helplessness without God, and that puts me on the knees of prayer. But that's not all. When I confess and mourn over my failure, and my shortcomings, and my sin, the comfort that Jesus gives me is sweeter than I can describe in words.
And I know some of you can say amen to that. The only faith that is filled with paradoxes is the Christian faith. It's the only faith. You cannot find paradoxes anywhere else in any other religion, any other group, any other teaching. The Christian faith is the only faith that's filled with paradoxes. And the second Beatitude, as we're climbing up, probably is the clearest example of what I mean by the paradox in the Christian faith. What could be more self-contradictory than happy are the unhappy? The way to happiness is sadness, that's what it says. The road to rejoicing is mourning. No wonder the non-believers have a hard time comprehending the Christian faith, they think it's absurd, and I happen to agree with them. Until you come on this side of the cross, you can't see it, you can't understand it, you can't comprehend it.
When we see people who are willing to spend their fortune to avoid pain, when you see people who would do whatever it takes to avoid disappointments in life, I mean, they will do whatever it takes. When you see people who would avoid sorrow and grief on every turn, then you realize what Jesus says here, that only happy are those who grieve over their sin begin to make sense for the believer. Not for the non-believer, for the believer. In Luke chapter 6 verse 25, Jesus said, "Woe to you who laugh now, and you will mourn and weep later," talking about the weeping and the gnashing of teeth in a Christless eternity.
In John 16:20, Jesus said to his disciples, "You will weep and mourn," talking about the time of the crucifixion, "While others will rejoice". You must be thinking, "Michael, stop, just stop here. What kind of a leader is Jesus? What kind of a motivational teacher or speaker he is? What kind of a motivational seminar is this? What kind of an incentive package that he's offering his executives? I mean, it doesn't make sense". Now, before I attempt to answer this question, I want to point to you there are basically three types of mourning and grieving, three types. The first one is self-explanatory, but I'll tell you about it, because I think all of us have been there at some point.
The first one is a destructive mourning that emanates from self-pity. "Oh, poor me". Emanates from doubting of God's Word. Emanates from unfulfilled desire. It emanates from a destroyed ambition. I've been there, I know it. In my early days, I know it, and it's self-explanatory, I'm not gonna dwell on it. But the second type, the second type of mourning is the proper kind of mourning that happens due to circumstances out of our control. This type of mourning is really God's gift to us to help us cope with the disappointments of life. It's really a truly gift of God. This second type of mourning is our safety valve that lets the poisonous air out for a legitimate pain, for a legitimate grief.
This second type of mourning is like the balm that you place on the wound. This second type of mourning is God's provision for us to receive healing, and to receive solace, and to receive comfort from him. But then there is the third type of mourning that I believe Jesus is talking about here, it's the third type. This type of mourning is the type of mourning that receives supernatural comfort from the comforter, the paraclete, the Holy Spirit. Blessed, happy, fortunate, makarios are those who mourn, "For they will be comforted".
Now beloved, this type of sorrow he's talking about here is a godly sorrow. And this type of grief, and sorrow, and mourning is very private. It has to be between you and God. If you wanna involve somebody that's fine, but it is something so private between you and God. Blessed, happy, makarios, those who mourn, "For they will be comforted". This is the only sorrow that will lead to spiritual growth, to maturity in Christ. In the first Beatitude I said entry into heaven. That's the beginning step to become saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. The first step to salvation. The very first step is to begin by feeling of a spiritual bankruptcy. That's the first step. But then you move upward, and onward, and forward, and that attitude of brokenness doesn't stop the moment you say yes to Jesus, only those who feel spiritually inadequate without God will become those who mourn over their condition.
The Greek word that is used here for mourning, I know Jesus did not speak Greek, he spoke Aramaic, but the Greek word that the writers of the New Testament put is the word "pentheo," "pentheo". It's heartfelt, that's why it's private. It's that heartfelt brokenness, mourning. It's the same word, actually, used in the Greek Old Testament in Genesis 37:34 when Jacob, Israel, was paralyzed by grief when they said to him, his sons lied to him and said your son, Joseph, has been devoured by a ferocious animal and here's his coat. It's the kind of grief that Mark 16:10 talks about the disciples felt when they saw the cross and they did not think of the resurrection yet.
It is also used in the book of Revelation chapter 18. Prior to the return of Christ, it's gonna be an economic collapse, global economic collapse. It says that the business world leaders, you know, from Bangor, Maine to Bangkok, it's gonna be global, it's gonna be worldwide. They're gonna weep and mourn over the collapse of worldwide economy. And that is why you need to know Jesus, because Jesus will walk with us even in the fiery furnace. I feel bad for those people who are living in fear and terror, I really do. I wish I could take every one of them and say come on, no fear in Christ. Live or die, you win either way, amen. This word conveys deep agony over sin. But there's something else I don't want you to miss in this Beatitude.
Please don't miss this. Jesus is not saying that happiness is gonna come out of the act of mourning itself. That's not what he's saying. But rather that happiness is what comes from what God does in response to that mourning. Isn't that amazing? You know, I hear people talk about the power of prayer. There's no power in prayer, there's a power in the God who answers prayer. True happiness comes from his forgiveness, and healing, and restoration that washes over us when we confess and when we grieve over our sin. True comfort can only be experienced by those who are prone to weep over their sin. Today we glorify sin even in some churches, but Jesus said only those who mourn over sin will bring about true happiness, and true comfort, and true joy.
Please hear me right. Jesus is not talking about psychological or emotional experience that people talk about now, this catharsis. No, no, no, no, no, that's not what he's talking about. That can make you feel better, yes, but that's temporary. He is talking about deeper, deeper, inner healing and restoration of intimacy with him, which sin always raptures. Listen to me. The world says you can face your troubles by gritting your teeth a little harder, by lifting up your chin a little higher, by plastering a false smile, and sound, and look happy. Have a positive thought and good things will happen to you. Yep, that's preached, I heard it.
When you have an unconfessed sin, when you're not grieving over that sin and confessing it in your heart, no amount of positive thinking is gonna help you. You can have all the positive thoughts you want. When there is an unconfessed sin, all of the self-affirmation that you can muster will not help you. Now here's a fact. Sin and true happiness, and I'm talking about true happiness, not the ha-ha happiness, sin and true happiness are completely and totally, absolutely, positively incompatible, they're incompatible. They simply cannot coexist together until sin is confessed, until sin is covered by the blood of Jesus, until sin is redeemed. Until then, happiness, true happiness, true joy, will be standing out in the cold, why? Because only those who mourn over sin, only mourning over sin brings forgiveness. And forgiveness of sin brings true joy, true comfort, and true happiness.
One more thing I need to tell you, it's very important. Jesus is not talking about despairing type of mourning, no, we're the least one ought to be despairing. Jesus is not talking about wallowing in self-pity, "Oh, poor me," type of morning. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, as a matter of fact, mourning over sin does not focus on the self at all. Did you get that? It does not. That mourning over sin has nothing to do with you. The mourning over sin does not even focus on the sin itself. No, what does it focus on? It focuses on God.
In Romans chapter 7, when the Apostle Paul said, "Wretched man that I am," he immediately goes in chapter 7 verse 25, and he goes on to declare that I have victory in Jesus Christ, and it's only through the Lord Jesus Christ can I have victory. Praise be to God. Paul knew where the victory was. He knew that. Paul knew also that the victory of yesterday will not stretch for tomorrow. Just like the manna in the wilderness, they had to be picked up fresh every morning. You wanna know if you are growing in Christ or you have become so stagnant? Do you know how to know? Hey, read my lips, it's not sinlessness, did you read my lips? It's not sinlessness, that's only gonna happen in heaven, not here. The mark of spiritual maturity in Christ is growing awareness of the sinfulness of sin.
I used to hear that as a young man, preachers talk about the sinfulness of sin from the book of Hebrews and I would say, "What is that"? Oh, I know what it is now. Listen to what the Apostle John said. "If we say," that is if we claim, "That we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us". In other words, we're telling a lie. That's just a blunt way of telling you. Oh, listen to the rest of it. Don't leave the rest out. "But if we confess," here it comes, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful not only to forgive us all our sins," but washes us, cleanses us, "From all unrighteousness". What a great God we worship, huh? What a great God we worship. Give him praise. When our mourning over sin rises up to heaven, let me tell you in the authority of God's Word, and I testify personally, when your confession rises up to heaven, Jesus's promised of his comfort and peace is gonna come by return mail. It won't take long, immediately.
I want to finish by asking you a question. What's hindering you from mourning, confessing your sin? What's stopping you? I don't know, only you can answer that in the privacy of your own thought. Every individual can answer that themselves. Is it pride? Is it conceit? Is it deception, self-deception? Because conceit and self-deception tells us there's nothing in your life that needs to be confessed or mourned over, nothing, you're a good person. The problem is with the others. Always a problem with the others, not with you. Conceit, self-deception says you have nothing to mourn over.
Sometimes I hear people who are up to their eyeballs in sin, and they'll say, "That's just the way, everybody lives that way now. It's all changed from the days of the Bible. Sure, my sin is bad, but it's not as bad as many others". As long as they think that way, they'll never receive the comfort of the paraclete, only when you come in confession and mourning. If the Holy Spirit brought you under conviction, I plead before God don't shrug it off. Don't shrug it off. God wants and longs to comfort you.