Augustine said, “By hearing Thee I am happy; because of Thy voice I am happy.”[i] There’s no place we can go to hear God speak authoritatively, to hear His voice with complete confidence, other than the Bible itself.
When we’re right with God, we’re delighted with His words, because they’re an extension of Himself—His majesty, His beauty, and His happiness.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul. . . . The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalm 19:7-8, NASB). As we listen to, meditate on, and respond to God’s Word, our souls are restored from sin and unhappiness to righteousness and happiness.
As a new believer in Christ, I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word. At night I sometimes fell asleep with my face on an open Bible. Other times I would listen to Scripture on cassette tapes (remember those?). As I drifted off to sleep, my last waking memories were of God’s words.
When Jeremiah said that God’s Word “became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16), he was suggesting that Scripture has a cumulative effect that increases over time. Happily, by God’s grace, I can attest to this.
As I shared in my earlier blogs this week, I recently spoke on happiness at my home church, Good Shepherd Community Church, in a three-session conference. (Check out session one and session two if you missed them. The sessions can stand alone, but I think you’ll get the most out of each if you watch them consecutively.) Today’s blog features session three, “The Happiness Found in God’s Word.” Pastor Alan Hlavka and I spent the last 15 minutes of the session focusing on the happiness-related words found in the Bible’s original languages, but before that we addressed several more questions:
[i] Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, series 1, vol. 7, “Augustine: Homilies on the Gospel of John” (Tractate #25).
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