Read Psalm 1:1 - 3
In this Psalm we see again, the emotion of happiness and joy. This Psalm easily defines happiness in general. I think it is safe to say that we all want to be happy. In the United States we even believe happiness is a right for all people. The Declaration of Independence states that every American has the "unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This is true, but what is happiness? We all want it and we all pursue it in various ways, but do we actually know what we are pursuing?
People inside and outside of the body of Christ believe that happiness is can be found in someone or someTHING. I have hear some say they would be happy if they had a good paying job, a big house, a new car, a better Pastor, etc. Some seek happiness in a person or people… like a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, children, friends, family, etc. These bring a great deal of happiness and joy, but I don't believe they are not the true and final source of happiness.
Writer of Psalm 1 describes what he believes brings happiness...
Vs. 1- Blessed – The word "Blessed" simply means happy. It is the kind of happiness that flows from a sense of well being and rightness. A happy person is one who does not walk in the ways of the world or of sin. Sin does not bring happiness; it may be fun for a moment but eventually misery follows.
Seeking the “Counsel of the wicked” means taking advice or advisement from the ungodly person or those hostile to God. How can a person find happiness from a person who doesn’t have happiness? The happy person does not take up residence with people who are proud, boastful, mockers, or get off on deriding people of joy. However, this does not mean we isolate ourselves from wicked or ungodly people. We are to steer clear of the influence of the ungodly. We are called to love the sinner; but we are not to let this person be an influence in who you are and in your joy.
Vs. 2 – True happiness comes in the instruction of the Lord. Some take this to mean that the only way we can be happy is if we read the Bible all the time and memorize the laws of the Bible and follow every letter of the law to the “T”. This is not what is meant in this verse. Sure, we will find a ton of joy when we read the word of God and hold it in our hearts; but a truly happy person is one who is influenced by and completely submitted to God and his ways because they are the right ways. Our source of happiness and joy should come from God. He is happiness and He is joy. True happiness is found in God and living a life grounded in him. Does this mean that if we follow God’s ways we will always be skipping, smiling and soaring through life without a care? Of course not! We will always experience anger, frustration, despair and all sorts of negativity throughout life, but we will always have the source of happiness in us. We can still be happy and be miserable all at the same time. Why? Because our happiness is not based in a person, place or thing; it is grounded in God and we can truly be happy when life does not seem so good.
Vs. 3 – Not only will a submitted person be happy but he will also live a fruitful life. He or she who is rooted in God will be like a tree that is well nourished and cared for and produce abundant and healthy fruit in its due time. God will bless the person who is rooted in Him. We will be blessed, we will prosper, and we will be filled with joy and happiness all according to God’s purposes. This can mean we may not always FEEL like we are blessed, prosperous, joyful and happy but you are because God has given all for you.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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