August 01, 2014

Happy or Blessed?

Psalm 119:1-8

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
—Psalm 119:1-2


“I just want to be happy!”

I often hear people say that. Maybe you have said it too. In a world filled with frustrations and disappointments, we long for a ray of sunshine. The founders of the United States considered being happy important enough to put it in their Declaration of Independence, saying that we all have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The first section of Psalm 119 points us to the Lord and the great blessing he gives, filling our lives with happiness. God blesses us through his Word, and that calls for a wholehearted response on our part. Simply knowing what’s in the Bible is not enough. We can read it from cover to cover and still feel miserable.

That’s because unhappiness is caused by our self-will and our sinful disobedience. When we live according to our own ideas and values, we will always run into trouble. But when we willingly conform our lives to what the Lord Jesus wants us to be, we will find the blessing he promises (Mathew 5:3-12).

Is this easy? No. Again and again we have to resolve to seek God’s will and not our own. The author of this psalm cries out, “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying.” And with God’s help we can be steadfast. Are you joining in this pursuit of happiness?

Lord Jesus, we hear your call to deny ourselves and follow you. By your grace enable us to do this every day. Bless us as we trust and obey you. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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