So…we’re halfway through the Joy and Thanksgiving scripture study series. I hope people like it – if you are doing it. If not, no big deal – I like it.
Today, we are doing a scripture chain. I really like scripture chains. They are a cool way to study and mark the scriptures. I like having a series of related scriptures referenced to one another – in my scriptures. If you want more information on finding/marking scripture chains, click here.
“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” – Job 5:17
Have you ever been corrected by the Lord? I have. In fact, I’m corrected by the Lord a lot. I’ve been corrected while I read my scriptures, when I’m praying, I’ve been corrected in priesthood blessings that I’ve received. I’m corrected in so many situations.
It is a little hard at first, but I have found that if you are living your life worthy of the spirit, then the correction isn’t always too bad. The Spirit manages to comfort while correcting.
That is where happiness comes in. Any time I’ve received correction, as soon as I commit to making the change, my perspective is filled with hope, and I know that I’m on the right track. I am filled with the Love of the Lord, and that is a happy place to be.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” – Psalms 127:3-5
I truly have a “quiver” full of these little ones. And it is exciting. True to everything we’ve learned about happiness, there are times when I experience a lot of pain and frustration as a mother. Childbearing, in and of itself, is extremely painful. And teaching children can be difficult. They are discovering the world around them, they have many needs, and there is little time leftover for yourself. Yet, this sacrifice brings so much happiness. I’m amazed at how my children have grown over the years. Every time they experience something difficult, my heart aches for them. And when they accomplish something good, I feel great.
And, we can fill our quivers with children that we haven’t birthed ourselves. There are children all around us in our lives – grandchildren, step-children, nieces, nephews, children we teach and serve. They can all bring us joy!
“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” – Psalms 144:15
We are happy when the Lord is our God. In some ways, that seems obvious, but I know that there are times I have to ask myself, who is my God? Is there something I spend time doing that competes with my ability to worship? Is there something that I prioritize over my covenants and relationship with God?
Sometimes it seems like we’ll be happier when we give in to our natural desires, but according to the Psalmist, If our god is the Lord, then we’ll be happy.
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” – Proverbs 3:13
This reminds me of the need for opposition. We are happy when we obtain knowledge. Part of the “knowledge” experience includes misery, pain, and affliction. Despite the difficulty of such opposition, if we go to the Lord, we can gain knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Understanding and applying knowledge will bring us happiness.
“He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” – Proverbs 14:21
This scripture reminds me of what we learned about the good fruit: it is the love of God and of all men.
When we have mercy on others, and love others, then we can be happy. Happiness is very closely related to charity. Judgment, contention, hatred, are not fruits of the Spirit. They are not Christ-like attributes. And they will not bring happiness.
I have really liked studying various scriptures that have had to do with happiness. I think that it has helped me to shape my understanding of what happiness is. I feel like we are happiest when we are most like Christ. This is achieved both through our good choices in keeping the commandments and through taking on His name in the waters of baptism (and renewing that covenant).
Christ makes our happiness possible. We have so much to be thankful for…
What have you learned about happiness? Is there any idea that has helped to you be happier or understand more of what happiness, as the Lord defines it, is?
For tomorrow’s assignment, please click here.