The Truth About Happiness, Part Three (Study Guide)

What did you learn from last week’s sermon?

Q1: What is chaff?

Q2: Who plants the tree?

Q3: Can a Christian produce fruit on their own?

Q4: How does a believer prosper?

Q5: Why is a believer’s attitude or happiness unchanging during difficult circumstances?

Q6: Can we question the pruning or shaping of the tree?

Q7: How can a believer make their roots stronger?

Sermon Summary & Answers

Last Sunday, Nathan Ross brought us to part three of his sermon series, The Truth About Happiness. We picked up with:

Psalms 1:3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season. And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalms 1:4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Nathan explains that chaff is the dead, worthless husk or shell of the seed that is thrown away. As believers, we were all once chaff and were all changed into a tree! This is the illustration of regeneration.

Nathan then directed us to the word planted and asked who planted the tree; since, it didn’t plant itself! We can’t plant ourselves, this is key to understanding Christianity.

“Did you plant yourself or did you get planted? Did you wash or were you washed?”

Nathan Ross

God is in control of salvation! Every plant that the Heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Typically, trees grow up wild and aren’t planted, but this tree was planted and placed in a chosen spot by the water. Someone made a place for this tree to go, grabbed a shovel, and headed to the stream. This tree was planted with intention and done with effort.

“This is the work of regeneration in a person’s life. Regeneration is the supernatural work of the holy spirit by which divine life is given. You can’t be a Christian by deciding to pray, or go to church. or read bible, or keeping the commandments. God causes your rebirth.”

Nathan Ross

1 Peter 1:3 blessed be the God and father of Jesus who according to his mercy has caused us to be born again.

God has to regenerate you! Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:7-8. We cannot create new birth any more than we could make the wind blow and tell it where to go. No one is born a believer. We are all born spiritually dead and our flesh is alive but dying. Our spirit has to be reborn. We are not children of God but children of wrath. Those that believe in Him will become children of God because we weren’t children of God by default, but we have to become children of God. Nathan went on to explain that the Bible is a record of God’s activity not man’s. God came to save man; man was not searching for God.

Therefore, since God is the planter, we can rest assured that he will take care of that tree (us). He won’t let it wither away. Don’t question the pruning and shaping of the tree. That’s God’s pruning. Everything that happens to you is for your good and His glory to make you more like His son that was cut for you. Look at where He planted you, not by a desert, but by streams of water with constant access to nutrients and rich soil for growth! You’ve been planted in Christ with deep strong roots and can’t be blown over by the wind. We are totally dependent on water and nutrients, which is God’s grace and for him to sustain us.

What about the fruit, you ask. Wehave to abide in Christ to produce fruit, apart from Christ we can do nothing. We glorify God by bearing fruit. The tree yields its fruit in its season. Every tree has its own fruit. A fig tree cannot shake off its fig fruit because it wants apple fruit. God has given us our proper identity, and every Christian a different identity. Certain fruit has certain seasons, they don’t all appear at the same time. There are different times for different fruit. There are times of prosperity in which the fruit is joy, and times of suffering in which the fruit is patience. Jeremiah 17:8 states that the leaves will always be green! Happiness is not dependent on circumstances. The tree’s leaves don’t wither even in a terrible drought or strong wind meaning even when lots of suffering is happening around a believer, the moisture never leaves; the leaf never withers. Believers are not chaff. The believer is a living tree firmly planted in the son of God, and God will not let you wither. Christ came and withered on your behalf.

As a believer you are prepared for anything and everything. If great sin is committed against you, think “why did it take so long?” It is a normal occurrence in this fallen world. Someone said something bad about you, think “well I’m much worse than what they said.” When difficult circumstances come, press on. James 1:2 consider it joy when you encounter trials. As believers, we are so blessed and cannot wither! Christian life prepares you for everything because God is faithful! God sustains us.

“Why? Why wouldn’t he? If he did all he could to save us, why would he then let us wither away!”

Nathan Ross

But there’s more. What about prospers? In whatever we do? Sounds unrealistic, right? If anyone prospers seems it’s the wicked in this fallen world, and the righteous believers look like they suffer more than the secular people. Prosper is not necessarily seen in a worldly sense but spiritually. It is so much more than monetary prosperity; that’s not really prospering. Romans 8:36-37 says we are considered sheep to be slaughtered but in all these things we are more than conquers through Him who loves us. So, how can we prosper when we’re considered sheep led to the slaughter? Because Jesus prospered. 1 Corintians 15:55 where, O death, is your victory? Where O death, is your sting. God gives us victory through our lord Jesus Christ and whatever done in His name will be rewarded in the life to come. We are storing up treasures in heaven anyway, and nothing is in vain. It is all for our good and His glory. Happy is a tree planted into great soil, close to life giving water, and produces fruit even when everything is going wrong. Circumstance doesn’t change our attitudes or happiness as Christians because we are planted in Christ.

Written by Chantel Wilson


  1. Chaff is the worthless husks of corn or other seeds. It is dead and thrown in the trash.
  2. God plants the tree and is intentional in this regeneration by placing the tree in a chosen spot by the water.
  3. no, believers have to abide in Christ to produce fruit
  4. Believers prosper spiritually; whatever we do in His name will be rewarded, and we are storing our treasures in Heaven.
  5. Circumstances do not change the attitude or happiness of Christians because we are planted in Christ.
  6. Don’t question the pruning and shaping of the tree. That’s God’s pruning everything that happens to you is for your good and His glory. To make you more like his son that was cut for you.
  7. Bible reading, praying, and hearing the word of God make out roots go deeper, and our foundation as a believer even stronger.