June 04, 2024

Happiness in What We Avoid

Psalm 1:1-6

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers. . . .

—  Psalm 1:1

Happiness includes having the courage to avoid destructive situations. We can draw the line in uncertain friendships. We can walk away from compromising situations. We can say no to opportunities that could lead to wrongdoing. This is how God describes his followers who seek to honor him and to live by his Word. When we are supplied with wisdom from God, we can avoid misfortunes, regrets, and many troubles by learning to say no before it’s too late.

Rather than walking in step with the wicked, “those who belong to Christ Jesus” can “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25). In Christ, we are given new life and “called to be free” (5:13). But that doesn’t mean we are free to follow our old sinful nature. Rather, we are called to “serve one another humbly in love” (5:13), following the whole law of God. If we walk in the way of the wicked, stand proudly with sinners, or sit dutifully among mockers, we will be just like them, and we will not enjoy the happiness of life that God wants for us. We will be blown away like dust in the wind, for “the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”

Psalm 1 is often described as teaching about the two ways: the way of godly wisdom, and the way of foolish wickedness. “Blessed [or happy] is the one who . . .” avoids the way of wickedness but delights in the way of the Lord.

O God, free us from sinful, foolish ways and guide us by your wisdom for living, in line with your law of love. Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Hernandes became the Portuguese ministry leader for Today's sister Portuguese ministry in 2010. He also serves as the director of the organization Luz Para o Caminho (Light for the Way), an organization formed in partnership between ReFrame and the Presbyterian
Church of Brazil. Hernandes has authored more than 160 books and is a popular and respected conference speaker in Brazil. Hernandes graduated from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Brazil and earned a Doctorate of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary in
Jackson, MS.

Hernandes and his wife, Tinha, have two adult children.

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