Michael Youssef - Happiness is in You - Part 3
We have been looking at the superstructure which we call the Beatitudes. Jesus did not call them that, we call them the Beatitudes. Jesus, when he said, "Blessed are you, blessed are you, blessed are you," he didn't just pluck some blessings and he threw them up in the air, and they came up with this. No, no, no. It's a step by step by step. And these stepping stairs, we saw the very first one, you remember, is being broken on the inside. The Bible talks about poor in spirit which means, "I am declaring bankruptcy. God, I can do nothing without you. God, I'm helpless without you. God, I could never save myself. God, you're the only power I need and I have. God, come into my life".
That is the beginning, and that's the beginning of what we call a person becoming a Christian believer. But it doesn't stop there. It keeps on going. It is not just an event or experience in life and then you forgot all about it. No, it continues, that brokenness continues into the attitude of mourning, continuous mourning over the condition that we're in and we find ourselves in, the shortcomings and the failures. It comes into developing meekness, power under strength. Certainly, nobody could ever accuse Moses of being weak, right? They can't really accuse him of being weak or a coward. And yet, God described Moses as the meekest man on the face of the earth. And certainly there is no more courageous, powerful person ever walked the face of the earth than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. And yet, he describes himself as meek and lowly of heart. And yet, both the Lord Jesus and Moses exhibited righteous anger. They exhibited sinless anger. They exhibited courageous anger. They exhibited godly anger.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after spending 40 days with God on top of the mountain and carrying the very plates, the tablets, that were written by the finger of God, and he watches his people worshiping a bull, he smashes them into smithereen. He become angry and broke the Ten Commandments, tablets. When Jesus saw, in the temple, the being desecrated by unbridled greed, because that's all it was, unbridled greed, he became angry, and he whipped them out of the temple and cleansed his Father's house. That is righteous anger. It's vitally important to get this right, please, get this right.
There is a godly anger which builds up. There is a godless anger that tears people down. There is a righteous anger that cleanses. And there is a selfish anger that defiles. There is a righteous anger that seeks to glorify God. And there is a cowardice anger that glorifies self. In fact, throughout the Scripture, you see the distinction between power under control, and power out of control. You see them in the Scripture. Look in Proverbs 16:32, 16:32 Book of Proverbs. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he who rules his spirit is better than the one who takes the city". That is power under control.
In Proverbs 25:28 it tells us that "He who has no rule over his spirit is like a city that is broken down, without walls," vulnerable, open to all kinds of disasters. That is power out of control. Anger has power just like fire has power. Anger has power. If you have the fire under control, say in a fireplace, it's delightful. On a cold day, a fire in a fireplace is beautiful. It's delightful. That fire is your servant. It can accomplish a great deal of things. You can cook on it. You can do all kinds of things with fire. But when fire is out of control, it becomes destructive. It becomes your master. It creates a devastating havoc, so it is with anger. It can be your master or it can be your servant.
That is why Jesus said, "Happiness is in you". Blessed, makarios, "Blessed are the meek". Blessed are those who have their power under... happy, fortunate, makarios in the Greek, are those who have their power under control, for they will inherit everything. That's really when they say the earth, everything. The word that Jesus uses was very familiar to the people who are listening to him. Always remember I told you in biblical interpretation, find out what it means for the people to whom he is speaking, the writer is writing. Always find out what it meant in context. And so, when Jesus talks about blessed are the meek, all of his listeners understood.
But here in the 21st century, I have to explain it because the word "meek" was very familiar to them because it described the soothing effect of medicine. It describes the effect of a gentle breeze upon the sailing boat. It describes a horse, a wild horse, that has been tamed and broken in. Look at them again with me, medicine, wind, wild animals. Medicine, wind, wild animals, write them down. Medicine, wind, wild animals, very important. The one thing about these three things that they have in common is power. They all have power, right? Medicine has power to destroy viruses. Medicine has power to dull pain. Medicine has power to relax the muscles. Medicine has power to relieve fever. Medicine has power to help in the healing process.
The same thing is true of the wind. Wind has power. Wild horses have power. If you watch a cowboy on a bucking horse, you would realize what a powerful animal those horses are. Medicine, wind, and horses all have power, but their power, when it's under control, it is a wonderful thing, great things happen. But if that power is out of control, devastation can result. Medicine, at the right dosage, it can bring a process of healing. But if you like the peasant that I heard about years ago growing up that he said, "Well, if one spoon a day helps to heal you, I'll drink the whole bottle". At the same time, all at once, he just drank the whole bottle.
Well, it killed him faster. But at the right dosage, it's wonderful. A gentle breeze is delightful in the summer for a great sailing, but too much wind will bring a devastating hurricane. A wild horse that is broken in is delightful to the rider, but untamed horse is dangerous. So, when Jesus said, "Listen, blessed, happy, makarios, are the meek," he's telling us about power that is harnessed by the Holy Spirit. It's power that is harnessed by the Spirit of God, power that is tamed by the spirit of God, power that is under the control of the Holy Spirit, power that is subdued and surrendered to the Spirit. You see, when you are meek, when your power is under control, when you are under the control of the Spirit of God, God has a blessing that's only for you with your name written all over it. Nobody else can take it from you. Can I get an amen?
God kept his promise to Abraham, and he inherited the earth, inherited the Promised Land. Joseph, the epitome of meekness, he was maligned. He was hated. He was mistreated by his older brothers. And yet when he came to power, make no mistake about it, that was the superpower of the world, not just of the region. When he came to power, untold power over his brothers, total control over his brothers. He could have taken revenge, but he kept his power under control and instead, he forgave them. Isn't that amazing? That is not natural. Hello? It's supernatural. Because Joseph was meek, he inherited the land.
As a matter of fact, meekness manifests itself the most when you have power over someone, listen carefully, someone who hurt you badly, someone who hurt you badly. And then you come into power over that person, but you don't do it. You don't use it. When you have power to tarnish your enemy's reputation, but you don't do it, when you have power to destroy the one who sought to destroy you, oh, but you don't do it, that's meekness. When you have the power to undermine confidence in the one who deeply betrayed you, but you don't do it. You don't do it. Blessed, happy, fortunate are the meek, for they will inherit it all, inherit all. Perhaps if you are looking for perfect meekness, then look no further than our Lord Jesus. He was the Creator God, but he became the Lamb of God for you and you and you and me. He knew all the secrets of all the people who were there during his trial.
Just think about this. Knowing Caiaphas's secret, oh my goodness, what a temptation, Pontius Pilate could have revealed it all. But when he was reviled, he reviled not. When he was unjustly tried and suffered, he threatened not. He could have. He committed himself to the one who's perfect justice will prevail, who's perfect justice will prevail. Say it with me. "His perfect..." Hear me out, please. It took more power for Jesus to surrender to those soldiers who came to arrest him in Gethsemane than for Peter, pull out his sword and chop the ear of the servant of the high priest. It took more power. You see, what Peter did, Peter's action actually is natural, but Jesus's action was supernatural.
Let me ask you this. How are you in the meekness department? Are you continuously having that power under control of the Holy Spirit? The reason I said continuously having it under the control of Spirit because it is not just an event. It's not just an experience. It's not just a one thing you do. No, no, no, it continues on day after day after day. You see, it never stops. It never stops. When Jesus said, "Blessed, happy, makarios, are the meek," he was quoting Psalm 37, verse 11. Did you know that? If you can, in your Bible, turn to Psalm 37 because it's really important. The writer of this psalm must have been going through some horrendous circumstances, probably things we will never understand. Wicked people were trying to cut him down. Dishonest people were slandering him. Evil people were trying to ruin his reputation.
I wonder how many of us would have reacted in this kind of a situation? How do you react to this? What most people really do when they get into this situation, because really seldom do we have that kind of power, what they do when they get under these circumstances that psalmist in 37 was going through, you know what we do? We fret. Hello? We fret. That's what most people do, they fret. And that is why he begins the psalm in verse 1 by saying, "Fret not". That's the first, the first thing he comes up with. "Fret not yourself, but cease from anger and forsake wrath". A lot of people are fretting these days. And I see people fretting everywhere you turn, they're fretting.
Anger and fretting can be very destructive. Here the psalmist is saying the meek will always trust in the Lord's deliverance. The meek will always trust in God's justice. The meek will always wait patiently for the Lord who says, "Vengeance is mine". Question, how can I develop this meekness, this power under control? Great question. I'm glad you asked it because I want to answer it. Galatians chapter 5 tells us that you cannot manufacture that. You can't just say, "Jesus, I'm gonna be meek. I'm gonna be meek. I'm gonna be meek". No, no, no, it doesn't work that way. It doesn't work that way. You can't manufacture it. It is a fruit and not manufactured object. It's cultivated, not invented. And when you become poor in spirit, when you declare spiritual bankruptcy, and then you live day by day mourning over sin, the spirit of meekness develops in you, cultivates in you.
The spirit of Jesus will always bring that meekness. Here I'm gonna say something that I personally don't like. Cultivating the fruit of meekness takes time. Oh. My wife will tell you, I know years ago I said, "God is trying to teach me patience. I just wish he will hurry up". When Moses was pampered in Pharaoh's palace in Egypt, he knew nothing about meekness. He did not know meekness from cereal for breakfast or kebabs. When he saw two people fighting, with one punch, he killed one. But after 40 years, 40 years in the Midian desert shepherding, 40 years wandering and wandering, 40 years, God began to cultivate the spirit of meekness in him.
Listen to me. Some of you might be in a holding pattern right now. And you're kind of going around and around and saying to God, "How long, Oh, Lord, how long are you gonna keep me in this school? How long you gonna keep me in this situation? Oh, God, get me out of this". Thank God I wasn't there for 40 years, but I was there for about nine years in a holding pattern. And I would cry to God. And God says, "At the right time, at the right time". Some of you might be in the wilderness right now and asking, "When will I be delivered"? Remember, God is cultivating meekness in you so that he may be able to use you in a mighty way. During that cultivation period, you can do one of two things. You can either submit or you can fret. You can submit or fret, submit or fret. Jesus said, "The meek will inherit the earth".
How shall the meek inherit the earth? Well, actually Psalm 37, that's why I asked you to turn to it, gives us the answer. Throughout this psalm, and I really hope that you're gonna take time and start reading. Throughout this psalm, and I tell you because I lived with it for many years in the past, there is a contrast between the wicked and the righteous, the wicked and the righteous, and the wicked and the righteous. The wicked does this and the righteous does the... The wicked does this, and it goes on. The contrast is there very clear. And he says, "Wait a minute, appearance can be very deceiving. Don't fall for that". The outward appearance, it looks like the wicked is winning, and the righteous is losing. But it is not like that. It is not like that. Don't go by appearances.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and you will be able to view things from God's perspective. Delight yourself in the Lord, trust the Lord with all of your heart, and he's gonna show you the inside view of things. Submit to the Lord, and he will give you an incredible preview of the coming attractions. As long as you fret, you're only gonna see from the outside, which is very deceiving. And as long as you're seeing only the outside, you're gonna keep on fretting. You're gonna keep on fretting. It's a vicious cycle. It's gonna go on and on and on. And that is why the Apostle Paul could say, "Having nothing, yet possessing all things". You never, ever, ever see Jesus fretting. Just read all the four gospels. Not one time do you find him fretting, even when things appear to be the worst. How can it be worse than the crucifixion? Because he knew that his Daddy got everything under control.
When his disciples were fretting in the storms, Jesus was asleep in the storm. When his disciples were fretting over lack of food, he was totally at peace because he was sure of his Daddy's provision. The meek shall get it all. We'll get it all. See, usually an inheritance you get when somebody dies, leave you a bequest in his or her will. But in this case, you will fully inherit, your full inheritance will come when you die. When you die to self, you will grow in meekness. When you die to control, you will grow in meekness. When you die to scheming and manipulating, you'll grow in meekness. When you grow in meekness, you'll inherit all things with Christ.
Joseph waited upon the Lord, and he was exalted and inherited it all. David waited upon the Lord, and refused to kill Saul when he could have, more than once. And he became the king of Israel. The meek don't have to fret or fight. All they need to do is submit. James tells us in chapter 1, verses 3 and 4, let me read it to you. "For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect, and complete, and lacking," in what? "Nothing". God bless you. Do you long to be set free and liberated from anger, from fretting? Whatever circumstances you're in, you want to be set free? I believe with all my heart that God wants you to be set free.