true happiness part 3: you need rescuing

Jesus has a very different view of happiness to contemporary culture (read part 1, part 2)

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy

This is not a bit of advice to be merciful in order to receive mercy because that makes no logical sense - if you show mercy in order to receive mercy then you would have earned it... in which case it is no longer mercy! This verse also does not promise that if you show mercy to someone they will always return the favour. If it did, then Jesus' own life would have disproved it - he was the most merciful person that ever lived, yet he was brutally murdered.

True happiness is found in a life marked by mercy - receiving and giving. The merciful person is someone who has recognised their own spiritual bankruptcy (v3), owned their sin and repented (v4), humbly entrusted themselves to God (v5) and recognised their absolute dependance on him (v6). Merciful people are people who have received mercy. If you don't recognise your need for mercy, you are unlikely to show it to others. 

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God
"The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God." John Piper

Man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). We may try to look pure to impress others and maybe impress God, but God requires a clean heart. A pure heart will result in seeing God, being welcomed in to his presence. That sounds good, so all of us with a pure heart should form an orderly queue!

In reality, if we think we meet this criteria, that is a clear sign that we don't. When we examine our own actions, words, thoughts and attitudes we should cry out like David "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10). Fortunately, God can and will do that. The only person to ever live with a pure heart, died in our place so that we can be washed clean and enter into God's presence.