Tag Archives: the psalms

Psalm 1; The Pursuit of Happiness

The book of Psalms is the go-to for many people when they are sad or discouraged or feel far from God. And many find comfort in these precious chapters.

Honestly, I haven’t been one of those people. The Psalms have never been my favorite book of the Bible. Usually, as I get to this portion of God’s Word while reading through it each year, I plow through as many psalms a day as I can, just to say I’ve read them. Oh, I’m blessed by a verse here and there, challenged or convicted by others. But in general, I don’t let it speak to me like I do other places in the Bible.

My pastor has been going through the psalms with us on Wednesday evenings, and that has given me a new appreciation. So today I read Psalm 1, a psalm I memorized in my youth, and I’ve been sitting here chewing on it, praying about it, then reading what some others have to say about it. And… WOW!

We all want to be happy. I mean, come on. Doesn’t the US government even give us the right to pursue happiness? So why is there so much sadness? Why so many people medicating to mask unhappiness? Psalm 1 has the answer.

First of all the happy (or blessed) person doesn’t listen to the world’s idea of what happy looks like. It’s not found within us, or in having bigger and better things. It’s not found in relationships or self-satisfaction. People who suggest that the answers to life’s problems are situational or a matter of mind control are wicked counselors, sinners, and mockers. (vs 1)

The blessed man is the one whose life is grounded in Scripture, who loves God’s Word, who has made the Bible such a part of his life, it is with him day and night. He is like a tree whose roots are deep, nourished by living water, refreshed, and fruitful.

The psalm says the wicked man, the one who denies God or ignores Him, has no roots. He’s based his life on shallow ground that won’t stand up in the end. Like chaff, or dandelion seeds that blow apart in the wind, he has no standing with God. And he doesn’t even realize what an unhappy state he’s living in.

The dandelion looks at the sturdy oak and says, “I’m just like you.”

No, you’re not.

The blessed person, we who are happy in our relationship with God, grounded in His Word, know that this life is only a blink in light of eternity. The problems of this life are temporary, but the rewards of knowing God will last forever. We can afford to be happy in that truth, regardless of situations we face here in this lifetime. We are blessed!

Dear God, thank You for slowing me down as I study Your Word today. I pray that as I spend time in the psalms You inspired men to write, I will listen to what You would say to me here in 2018. God, I want to be grounded in Your Word, rooted in Scripture, bearing fruit as a result of my relationship with You. I’m looking forward to getting to know You better, loving You more, and serving You more effectively as I let these psalms penetrate my heart and soul.

My Praise Prayer

I read Psalm 103:1-5 this morning and was encouraged to just praise God in prayer, instead of telling Him what I need. So using the Psalm, this is my praise prayer:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy Name!

You are holy, God. You are all powerful, ever-present, eternal, loving, gracious, kind.

You have forgiven every sin I’ve ever committed, and have paid the price to forgive the sins I’ll yet commit while on this earth.

You are the Great Physician who heals, who gives me the ability to get up in the morning, who gives me eyes to see, ears to hear, fingers and toes, arms and legs, the privilege of tasting and smelling. I have witnessed your healing touch in the lives of family and friends, and also have seen the ultimate healing you provide when you take your children home.

You changed me from a self-centered, sinful person, to a woman who wants only to please you.

You help me resist temptation, to guard my heart, and you arm me with all I need to be victorious every single minute of every single day.

You shower me with love and mercy, beyond what I even realize, in ways I often neglect to recognize.

And God, I can still come to you like a child, as trusting as a child, as dependent, excitedly and expectantly, knowing You are there with arms open wide.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy Name!