Happiness

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can contact him by sending a message to  bobjc88 @ gmail.com.

Psalm 1:1–6 (ESV)
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

The pursuit of happiness is seen by many to be the meaning of life. But how do we get happy? The first Psalm introduces us to blessedness, being made joyful by God.

We find out first what blessedness isn’t. To be made glad by God, we mustn’t be hanging out with the wrong crowd. There’s a progression from walking to standing to sitting. Don’t get on a bad path, otherwise you’ll end up in a bad place.

Then the Psalmist reveals what we should be delighting in: the law of God! Thankfully, God’s law isn’t like EU law for example, dry and boring. Instead, it’s more akin to a father “laying down the law” to his children. Kids might not always like rules, but they’re for their good.

A good kid is always thinking about how they can please their parents. A good child of God is the same, thinking on how they can love Him and others better each day. He’s always considering his heavenly Father’s teachings.

At this point you may be thinking, “I’d love to say I was like this blessed man, but to be honest, I’m not!” I know I’m thinking like that! But thankfully there is a blessed man who fulfils the law of God, and His name is Jesus. Through Him, we too can be blessed.

He’s like an evergreen tree. He died, but He lives evermore for us, and in Him, we too have eternal life and can bear spiritual fruit through His Holy Spirit. We’re like palm trees by an oasis. All around may be a spiritual desert, but we can be a source of spiritual refreshment to people, as our Lord is.

In all Christ does, He prospers, and in Him, we too can. This isn’t to say that the Bible is a get rich quick manual. It’s a spiritual book, and must primarily be understood spiritually. We can spiritually prosper in Christ, but we’re not promised any wealth beyond what we need.

The wicked on the other hand are like chaff that the wind blows away. What’s the point being rich for a season and to face an eternity in hell? Better by far to have treasures in heaven.

There’s a judgement coming, and the wicked will not stand in it. We’re all naturally wicked, and can only be made righteous through faith in the blessed Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord knows the narrow way we must tread, but the wide road leads to destruction.

“Yahweh our God, please set us on the path of Your blessed Son. May wicked sinners like us be made righteous by His blood, and so to prosper and avoid the judgement we deserve. In His name we pray, amen.”


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