the pursuit of happy

the when-happy-doesn't-cut-it blog for serious Christians

introducing the blessed list of happy

Bloch-SermonOnTheMountMost of us are very familiar with the beatitudes listed in “the sermon on the mount.” Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek! They’re called “beatitudes” because of the Latin word for blessed – the word most traditional translations have used to translate the Greek. More modern translations say something more ridiculous like, “Happy are those who mourn!”

But did you know there are actually more than 50 of these same kinds of statements throughout Scripture? As I mention in my about page, I started my “pursuit of happy” by highlighting (in green!) all of the “blessed is,” “blessed are,” and “blessed be” statements I came across while reading through the Bible. These will obviously show up as I continue to write, but it occurred to me that I should share the list in a more permanent way as a page on this blog.

So here it is: the blessed list of happy!

About the Blessed List of Happy

I won’t say the blessed list of happy is a complete list because I know I may have missed verses (please contact me if you noticed one!) and because there are obviously statements about blessing and people being blessed in the Scripture that do not begin with “blessed is,” “blessed are,” or “blessed be.”

Some other things to note:

  • I’ve purposefully excluded statements directed toward the Father, the blessed source of every blessing, because the list is intended to help us learn what it is be blessed as mere mortals.
  • I also excluded some statements directed at specific people simply because they’re not as clear in a list form. That’s not to say that those included are straightforward, and I hope you’ll look them up in your own pursuit!
  • If a verse appears twice in the Scripture (quoted from the Old Testament or repeated in different Gospels in a very similar fashion), I list both references, beginning with the first mention.
  • The list is categorized by parts of the Bible. I did this just to break it up a little after failing to try to fit each blessing into a tidy thematic category.

But I Did Notice Some Themes of Blessed Happiness

Despite it being happily impossible to neatly categorize these blessed verses, I couldn’t help but notice a few themes that stood out to me:

  • Trust in the Lord. This is one of the most often repeated themes. We see it repeated almost verbatim a few times and we see its theme in other verses that talk about finding our refuge, our hope, or our strength in Him. Must be something to that abiding thing.
  • Fear of the Lord. This theme was mentioned three times in the list (more than most others are repeated) and is obviously a virtue that is held in high regard throughout Scripture. It’s something I think we’ve lost in our society and should be desperate to find again – not as a “commandment taught by men” (Isaiah 29:13) but as something of His holiness awakening in our hearts.
  • Obedience. The term isn’t explicitly expressed in this list, but it is expressed through exhortations to delight in His law and to walk in His ways. If you study blessing more broadly, I suspect you’ll find obedience and blessing linked more often than anything else. Try starting with Deuteronomy 28.
  • Reproved and Disciplined. Twice in this list we see the Father declare those who He reproves and those who He disciplines as being blessed. Definitely something to keep in mind as true children of our Father!
  • Forgiven.Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity and whose spirit there is no deceit!” Psalm 32:1-2, quoted in Romans 4:7-8, needs no commentary.
  • Awaiting His Coming. These verses struck perhaps the deepest chord in my own heart. How I long to be the servant who is awake and ready for His return! So many of us get lost in pursuing our own happiness or so weary with life’s trials that we forget our most blessed hope!

So what stands out to you? What would you like to learn more about? I’d love to hear from my phantom readers!