For some time now, we have been looking into the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. The other day, I read Psalm 32 and noticed it begins with the same wording as Matthew 5.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.PSALM 32:1-2 ESV
While looking for a commentary about these verses, I came across an article from “Working Preacher” called The Pursuit of Happiness.
The Hebrew word, ashre, translates into Blessed are. The Working Preacher described it as Happiness is… This is an interesting translation of the word. You can read it here.
What comes to mind when you hear happiness is?
I found these quotes during a quick online search:
Happiness is a warm puppy.
…having you in my life.
…being weird every now and then.
…the privilege of friendship.
…letting go of your worries.
… not out there, it’s in you.
What would you say happiness is? To me, happiness is laughing with my family.
The Bible is full of these Blessed are /Happiness is statements.
There are Beatitudes in Deuteronomy, Job, Jeremiah, Psalms, Revelation, and probably others.
Let’s look at a few other examples I found in the Bible, and my Happiness is interpretation below them.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.JEREMIAH 17:7 ESV
Happiness is the man who trusts in the Lord…
Isn’t true happiness being able to fully trust in Someone? Knowing our Father will never lie, cheat, hurt, or disappoint us is a wonderful feeling. I was thinking the other day, if I truly believe God can not lie, then everything He has told me is true. Everything He has promised He will do, because He has to–He. Can’t. Lie. Lying would go against His holy and perfect nature.
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.JOB 5:17 NIV
Happiness is getting corrected by God…
This isn’t exactly a quote we would make into a poster and paste on our wall, right? No one really likes correction or discipline. However, I would prefer the Lord correct or discipline, me now, in this life, rather than in eternity. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives.”
In addition, Hebrews 12:11 tells us, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
A number of years ago, I developed a bad attitude with my pastor (Many others saw my poor attitude, as well). It didn’t seem to matter to him what I wanted to teach because he would either say he taught it or he was going to teach it. To me, it seemed as if he didn’t want me to teach at all.
One Sunday morning during worship, I grumbled to the Lord. I complained about how my pastor wouldn’t let me teach or lead any groups. As a result, I felt useless and angry. Suddenly, I heard the Lord’s voice inside me, AND it was neither gentle nor caring. Sternly, He answered me, “Your pastor didn’t say ‘No,’ I DID!”
If I could have crawled under my seat, I would have. God made it clear I needed to quit grumbling about the pastor and accept his answer. This was the closest to having the Lord yell at me as I have ever gotten. I won’t forget it either. But God changed my relationship with my pastor for the better through this. I realized all the things I thought he was doing, he wasn’t. I publicly apologized for my bad attitude.
Godly discipline yields fruit–and happy children.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!PS. 34:8 ESV
Happiness is the man who takes refuge in the Lord…
A refuge is “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.”
I have a picture my mom took on my fifth birthday. I wore a little flowered dress with a bow in my hair sitting on my dad’s lap. That was my safe place.
My dad died almost thirty years ago. One day as I prayed, feeling lonely and a bit depressed, the Lord reminded me of that picture. He spoke to my heart and told me I sit on His lap in much of the same way I sat on my dad’s as a little girl. My Father sees me as His little girl and He holds me when I am happy or sad. The Lord protects me, comforts me, speaks to me, and loves me. He is my refuge. The words the Lord spoke to me gave my heart peace, and also joy and happiness.
Here’s the last one for now…
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.PSALM 1:1-2 ESV
Happiness is not walking with the wicked, standing in the way of sinners, or sitting in the seat of scoffers, but delighting in the Law of the Lord…
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” That’s certainly a good reason not to walk, stand, and sit with people who will corrupt us. How many people have you known who regretted following others into trouble?
I looked up the word happiness online. As I read over the definitions given, I realized God, in His Word, gave us the true meaning of Happiness. It is not following Him in a half-hearted, on-again, off-again, when-it-is-convenient way.What if true happiness is being poor in spirit, peacemakers, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, being meek, mourning over our sin, being merciful, getting persecuted, taking refuge in the Lord, getting corrected by God…… Click To Tweet
What if true happiness is being poor in spirit, peacemakers, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, being meek, mourning over our sin, being merciful, getting persecuted, taking refuge in the Lord, getting corrected by God…
You get the picture.
We will never find true happiness by looking at the world around us. It comes from looking up.
It comes from gazing past ourselves to the One who is the meaning of happiness.
Do you want the happiness the world offers or that Jesus offers?
Dear Lord, thank you for your Word, for your Truth, and for the happiness you offer me. Help me to desire a relationship with you more than anything else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Genre: Non-Fiction Bible Study
Copyright 2021: Happiness is…By Stephanie Pavlantos. All rights reserved.
Meet our contributor:
Stephanie Pavlantos is an award-winning writer who is passionate about getting people into God’s Word. She has taught Bible studies for over fifteen years, speaking at ladies’ retreats, at her church, and over the internet.
Her book, Jewels of Hebrews (Mount Zion Ridge Press), won third place in the Selah Awards at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, and an Honorable Mention at the Florida Christian Writers Conference.
She is an ordained minister, holding credentials since 2019.
Stephanie is the president of the Hudson, Ohio chapter of Word Weavers.
She is a regular speaker at PJNet. tv.
Stephanie is a senior editor, social media director, Bible study and devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More She is a co-editor, co-compiler, and contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Stephanie works for the Besorah Institute for Judeo-Christian Studies in the Student Services department, as well as teaching their online classes. She holds weekly Zoom Bible studies, covering topics such as the Jewish roots of Christianity; the Four Covenants; and other themes.
She is published in Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Charisma Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, and Faith Beyond Fear. Stephanie is a contributing author to Feed Your Soul with the Word of God (Lighthouse Bible Studies).
Married for twenty-seven years, she and her husband Mike have three children: Matthew, Alexandria, and Michael. Stephanie has adopted animals of all kinds, including dogs, ducks, goats, and chickens.
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