How to be Happy

Bill Brinkworth

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalms 1:1-3

One of the most popular “wisdom” Psalms in the Hebrew’s book of praise is Psalms 1. The first three verses give God’s recipe for happiness. 

God’s method is far from what the unsaved world would think would bring joy and less conflict in one’s life. To be “blessed,” or “happy,” as it means in this verse, should involve heeding His advice.

God’s simple guidelines first involve one’s discerning who are the godly and the ungodly.  When one has read and understood what God’s Word, the Bible, says and teaches, one will often observe the godly and the ungodly by their character and actions. Their “fruit” (Eph. 5:9, Gal. 5:22-25), as the Bible often calls their liftestyle, may not honestly reveal if a person is a child of God or not; but it will spotlight if they are living a righteous life and could be a godly influence in your life.

After it is discerned who is living a life not pleasing to God, God commands that we “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly”; do not heed their advice (counsel)!If a popular television personality, who has been married multiple times, gives marital advice it would be wise not to heed it. When an acquaintance, or even a politician, has had multiple instances of not being truthful, it would be safe to ignore anything he promises or says. One that has repeatedly been seen involved in sin would also be one whose advice should not be heeded. If aChristian wants to be happy, it quite often has to do with following godly advice that one certainly will not get from unrighteous sources!

Not only should we not take the ungodly’s advice, a Christian should not even “standeth in the way of sinners.”  Do not be around them.  Put a distance between you and them. This is why many parents should forbid their children from spending time with playmates that would be bad examples.  They should know that any exposure to wrong behavior could expose one to suggestions to do the same.  Once a seed of sin or wrong conduct is planted in one’s mind, it is almost impossible to erase it.  Not being around those that are doing wrong, may protect one from even being tempted by sin.

The third piece of godly advice involves not even sitting with the scornful. God commands us not to sit down and get comfortable with those that laugh, ridicule, or disdain the things of God.  Their scoffing and scorning godly philosophies could alter one’s trust and walk with the Lord. Instead of filling one’s mind with poisonous scornfulness, God tells us to saturate our minds with what He has preserved for us in His Word.

Trust God’s Word.  Delight in it, and think on it (“meditate”) all the time.  When faced with a decision, contemplate, search, and obey what God’s Word says to do about the situation.  In doing so, one will not be as the unstable, ungrounded, uncertain ungodly. 

One that is obedient to what God shows one to do will be “…like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”  The happy Christian will have a firm foundation that will be able to endure life’s tests and trials. He will not be likely to fail or fall when the going gets rough.  When the world around him is confused and unstable, the obedient man will have God’s hand of blessing and protection on him and will be strong in adversity and prosper.  He will be “blessed”!





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