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The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life (2 of 5)
Series: Storm Proof Life
The title for this message comes from a book of the same name penned over one hundred thirty years ago. Many consider Helen Whitall Smith's (1832-1911) The Christian Secret of a Happy Life one of the great devotional masterpieces of all time. This Christian classic began as a series of articles for her husband's Germantown, Pennsylvania newspaper in 1873. Two years later it was turned into a book. Over two and half million copies have been sold.
Here's how Smith begins her book, "No thoughtful person can question the fact that, for the most part, the Christian life, as it is generally lived, is not entirely a happy life. A keen observer once said to me, "You Christians seem to have a religion that makes you miserable. You are like a man with a headache. He does not want to get rid of his head, but it hurts him to keep it. You cannot expect outsiders to seek earnestly for anything so uncomfortable." Then, for the first time I saw that the religion of Christ ought to be, and was meant to be, something that would make its possessors happy, not miserable." (p. 15).
Is it, as the critic she sites suggests, a rare thing to find a truly happy Christian? If she is right, even partly, is there a solution? The words of Jesus in our text point us toward an answer to those questions. Today we are continuing an on-going study of the Sermon on the Mount. Last week we examined Jesus' conclusion. Jesus insists his teachings result in a life that can withstand storms. He doesn't promise a storm-free life. Instead he describes the storm-proof life.
Over the next several weeks, we are going to work our way through Matthew 5-7. We won't look at every detail. Instead we will visit these chapters like Rose and I did Yellowstone National Park several years ago. Our time was limited so we drove the big circle. We stopped at the major sights like Old Faithfu ...
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