This morning’s reading brought me back to the words of Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great preacher of the late 1900’s. Commenting on the Sermon on the Mount, he reminds us the real ground of any unhappiness, and true happiness….
All moments of unhappiness in life are ultimately due to a person’s experience of separation from God. A person who is in real communion with God and with the Lord Jesus Christ is happy. It does not matter whether he is in a dungeon, or whether he has his feet fast in the stocks, or whether he is burning at the stake; he is still happy if he is in communion with God. Is not that the experience of the saints down the centuries? So the ultimate cause of any misery or lack of joy is separation from God, and the one cause of separation from Him is self. And self always means defiance of God; it always means that I put myself on the throne instead of God, and therefore it is always something that separates me from Him. Whenever we are unhappy it means that some way or other we are looking at ourselves and thinking about ourselves, instead of communing with God
[Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Volume One, (Eerdmans, 1971), pp. 295-296].