- How to be Happy: Introduction
- How to be Happy: Part A: Performance Based on Perception
- How to be Happy: Part B: Preeminence Based on Patience
- How to be Happy: Part C: Preservation Based on Purging
- How to be Happy: Conclusion
“Behold, happy (blessed) is the man whom God correcteth…” (Job 5:17)
Not only is enduring suffering from the hand of men a “key” to happiness or blessedness of God; but another key is when a saint is purged by God with chastisement.
Paul quotes Job 5:17b in the Book of Hebrews, “despise not thou the chastening of the Lord” (12:5). Read Hebrews 12:5-11, where Paul gives a mini-sermon on the value of chastening by God of His Children.
The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 94:12, “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest…”
How can the correction of God cause the chastened one to be “Happy” or “Blessed”?
Answer: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth…” (Hebrews 12:6).
First, God’s Rod of Chastening is proof of His Love of Purpose for His Sheep (His Children). The Sheep have to be tended to; they must have a Shepherd to lead them, guide them, protect them, and to provide for them; or they go astray into danger. This process is carried out for the Sheep in the Valley of the Shadow of Death; where His Rod and His Staff comfort His Sheep. (See Psalm 23:1-6.) David tells us how, or where, God tends to His Sheep in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. It is in the trials of fire, tribulations, persecutions, etc. that our Shepherd, Christ reveals His Love to us (His Sheep) as:
- “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
- “He leadeth me beside the still waters.
- “He restoreth my soul:
- “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness…
- “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
- “Thou anointest my head with oil…”
These actions of the Shepherd provide these three things:
- “I shall not want”: His Provision
- “I will fear no evil”: His Protection
- “I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever”: His Promotion
In this process of purging us of our faults, sins, pride, etc. through trials, tribulations, and chastening; God reveals His Purpose of Love to us (Romans 5:3-5; Hebrews 12:6a; James 1:2-4); and reveals to us that we do in fact love Him (Deuteronomy 8:1-8).
If God brings His Sheep into the Valley, He will not leave them alone. But in the darkness, He will provide a Light of Revelation of His Purpose to the one being tried. He will choose, call, and conform His sons, in the School of the Desert, to carry out His Will. (Just as He did Moses; after 40 years on the backside of the desert, God revealed Himself to Moses as the Great “I AM THAT I AM” (see Exodus 3) and God revealed to Moses His (God’s) purpose for him as the human deliverer of the Children of Israel out of Egypt’s bondage. And God denied all of Moses’ excuses.)
Second, God’s Rod of Chastening also proves us to be sons, and not illegitimate sons (Hebrews 12:7-11). When we endure this chastening of God, then it proves:
“…God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all (sons) are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8)
Furthermore, God’s correction of His Sheep is to bring about “subjection unto the Father of spirits” and to “live” (verse 9), or have temporal salvation (or preserving in this physical life). And finally, He (God) corrects His spiritual sons (His Sheep) in order for us to be partakers of His Holiness (verse 10).
Third, the end result of God’s Chastening of His Sheep (or sons) is to bear fruit. To all those exercised by God’s chastening process, “it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (verse 11). However, this purging process is grievous to the flesh, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous.”
Many times on the journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, it seems we will be destroyed. However, soon God reveals to those in His School of Conforming, that it is in the fire that the son of God is tested and proven to himself. It is here that the son is purged of his sin of rebellion, unbelief, or whatever; and brought to surrender to God as Lord and Master; submit to His Word; and obey His Word in Love to God and to his neighbors.
This purging by God brings the son (or sheep) to “preservation” (to living a life of Victory in Christ, being an overcomer, no matter the external circumstances in which he finds himself to be.) It brings him to Holiness (or to separation from this evil world in attitude, actions, and attire; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Also, it brings him to bear the “peaceable fruit of righteousness.” That is, he will walk and talk as Christ did, who is our Righteousness (1 John 2:4-6). He will be in peace with God and man (John 3:18). He will have Peace with God (Romans 5:1) and the Peace of God (Philippians 4:7).
How important is God’s purging?
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)