SERMON SUMMARY: What is one thing that all people desire all of the time? Happiness. We all want to be happy, but according to some recent studies, only about a third of Americans are happy. Products and techniques that promise to deliver happiness abound, but happiness still seems illusive. Why are we unhappy and what do we do about it? Is the pursuit of happiness even worth it? Does God even want us to be happy? Come find out this week as we conclude Every Moment Holy, our mini-series on the Book of Psalms.
It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness.
While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up[b] as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Seeing the crowds, [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
SONG OF CONFESSION:
CONFESSION OF SIN:
Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name.
SONG TO CONSIDER:
Blest is the soul that’s free from deceit—
No need to hide what he says from what he means.
Blest is the heart forgiven by love,
Whose every fault our good Lord covers up.
Long I disguised and buried my shame;
Ran through the night and I groaned through the day.
Shelter I sought where I thought I was safe,
But oh silent soul, how you wasted away!
Then at last I told all my sins,
And with shouts of joy, lovin’ arms drew me in
To my one true safe place:
In the love of God and the family of grace!
So listen up, if you truly want to live:
Do not hide alone in the dark like this one fool did.
Be not like the mule as he fights against the reins.
Come let your broken heart be bound by grace!
Words and Music: © 2016 Wendell Kimbrough. CCLI Song #7064730