How to be happy - tip #7

Don't worry that this is tip #7 but post #6 -- a couple were combined early on :)

Let's recap briefly:
1.  Check out possible physical problems (fatigue, hormones, illness)
2.  Acknowledge God's command to be joyful
3.  Don't blame others - accept responsibility for your own joy
4.  Confess sin
5.  Address systems errors (ways to do things better/more successfully)
6.  Accept the unchangeables.


7.  God's Word.  Get in it. 

I could just leave it at that and it would be sufficient.  But I am afraid this tip would be disregarded, treated as trite, as "the Sunday School answer."  So I won't leave it at that.  I'll pontificate.

First, why.  Then how.
Why.  God's Word is not good advice.  It is actually life.  It is living and breathing.  Yeah, I know that's difficult to understand.  But we don't have to understand why it works, just that it does.  We are transformed by His Word.  I Thessalonians 2:13 says "...when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is - the Word of God- which performs its work in those who believe."  It has the power to change you and me.  But, just like that eye cream that obliterates wrinkles, you have to apply it for it to work.  Does no good sitting on the shelf. 

God's Word not only transforms us, it comforts us and directs us.  The Psalms are a treasure trove of encouragement to me when I am hurting.  Knowing that spiritual giants such as David had to do battle with the blues keeps me from self-condemnation.  I am eternally grateful that God included this man's failures and his transparency in Scripture.  Otherwise, I'd feel pretty much an isolated failure.

Similarly, Scripture has principles to guide our decisions, our behavior, our attitudes.  Without the compass of His Word, we are left not knowing what to do.  And that in itself is depressing.

How.  How to get God's Word in you, not how it works.  Cuz I don't know how - just know that it does. 
Look at it.   Everywhere you go.  Have Scripture prints on your walls.  Verse a day calendars in your bathroom and kitchen. Bible passages on cards to take with you.  Everywhere.  We have even printed out verses on 3/5 cards and stuck them on the doorframes in our house.  (See Deuteronomy 6:4-9.  I take it literally)
Listen to it.  Good music is important.  We must not underestimate the powerful influence of songs on our minds and hearts.  For instance, if you are over 30, finish this jingle "Plop plop fizz fizz, Oh..._______________"  After this many years, I'll bet you still know the words to that commercial.  In the same way, words of songs stick in our brains and affect how we think, what we believe.  And feeling follows thinking.  If we feed our souls garbage, we are going to wind up feeling like garbage.
Study it.  Looking at Scripture, listening to songs based on Scripture - fabulous.  But they won't replace a commitment to personal time spent in meditating on His Word.  I can get along for a while on a spoon of peanut butter for breakfast and celery sticks with pimento cheese for lunch but after a while, I need some real sustenance.  Or my health will suffer.  Same with spiritual health.  We need to feast on His Word in order to nourish our soul.

If I can't shake the blues, many times it is remedied by getting back on track with consistent time in His Word.  To borrow an old line from Chick-fil-A: Taste it. You'll love it.  For good.