The Happy Life (Part 1)
The Happy Life
The Happy Life
Happy New Year to all of you.I don’t know why I always like the New Year so much.But for some reason it always seams like it’s a fresh start and I really like that.I know that for most around the world they must look at it the same way and that’s why so many do goals or New Years resolutions.There is a reason that most do these.It is something inside them that causes them to do this and you know what that is?People want to be happy.And so since it is a New Year and time to start a new series we are going to do a series called The Happy Life.Do you know that the Bible actually teaches us about that?Actually my two very favorite places in the Bible, the Book of Psalms and the Sermon on the Mount both start with this topic.The first word in both of those places is the word Blessed.They both start with the Word blessed and then tell us what it is and how to get it.So in praying about how to start the year we are going to do a series on the Blessed or Happy life.Today we will start in Psalm 1.The reason is because Psalm 1 tells us the whole story of the Blessed or Happy life.The very first thing it will do is let you off the hook if you have made New Year’s resolutions.Most likely they will not be what will help you to be happy or blessed.I mean really, how can losing weight, saving more money or having a more positive outlook on life make you happy?If we learn what Psalm 1 and what Jesus teaches us about the Blessed life you will see that you can be really happy eating a big piece of chocolate cake with ice cream on top, you will be happy that you paid way too much for it and still complain a little about how bad the economy is.Doesn’t that sound great?Here’s what we will learn today.Happiness is more about who you are than what you do or what you have.We will learn all about this over the next few weeks.If ever there was a few sermons not to miss these would be it.Today’s take home will be to answer a big question:Am I chaff or am I a tree?We will learn what needs to change if you want to become a tree.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Today as we open this passage up we will need to learn some definitions of what some words mean.Like this word blessed.For most of us we hear the word often and use it.We talk about being blessed when things happen or we look at people and say they are blessed or we even pray and say God I want you to bless me.But we may not even know what the word means.So to start with whether it is in the New Testament or here the word blessed simply means: Happy, fortunate and satisfiedWhich are all very very good things.I mean hey as we come into 2019 we want to be happy, we hope we are fortunate and for sure we want some satisfaction.But where we need some clarity is what exactly brings that?I’m sure for those of you that made resolutions this year you made them around what you think will bring you happiness, some good fortune and help you to be more satisfied.That could be anything from making more money, getting healthier, meeting mr. or mrs. Right or many other things.This is where we need to start if we ever want the blessed or happy life.We need to know what does the Bible say is the blessed or happy life.We will see here and all that we study over the next few weeks is that it has more to do with who you are than what you have or do.So let’s start right there, who are the blessed or happy people?Verse 1 and 2 are not what tell us what the blessed and happy man is, we only get that in verse Psalm 1:3 and it is a brilliant picture and then makes a very important comparison.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The blessed or happy person is like a tree.So let me stop and ask the question, how many of you when you did New Year’s resolutions said, this year I want to be like a tree?Now you know you problem.Here is what God is saying to us through David.The happy or blessed person is the stable person.This is unbelievable when you grasp what He is saying.The really happy people, the people that are fortunate and satisfied are those that are stable or solid.The reason this is so amazing is because almost anything else that you put down as what you think will make you happy are external things most of which you don’t have control over.Like if you think money is going to make you happy what happens if you lose it all? Then you won’t be happy.What if you believe a certain relationship will make you happy? What if the person dies or changes? Then you can’t be blessed and happy.What if you think being fit and losing weight is it? What if you get ill?There is the problem with most focus on.You can’t guarantee them.But what is taught here is that if you are stable you can still bare fruit with or without them.You can still be happy with money or without, you can be happy with or without that relationship, and you can be happy fat or skinny.There is a reason why and what really matters.Here there is a comparison of two types of people.One is like a tree and one is like chaff.This is the picture that most miss in this Psalm.We have to see if we are chaff or a tree.If you are a tree you can be blessed but you can’t if your are chaff.What’s the picture.If you are a tree then no matter what goes on around you, you are stable and hold your groundChaff no. You are controlled by what goes on around you.I brought some chaff. This is chaff.Check it out. You throw it up in the air and look what happens.The wind takes it where it wants. The external controls it.There is no substance.This is why happiness has more to do with who you are than what you have.A healthy tree isn’t moved by what goes on around it. It’s stable.The wind can blow and it stays there.Chaff just gets blown away.So this is the starting place.You have to examine yourself to see are you a tree or chaff?Does what happens around you control your happiness?So what makes the difference to determine if you are chaff or a tree?There is only one big one. God.That is what is taught here.Only God can determine and make the difference in your life to bring this stability.That is the teaching of this Psalm.Let me explain.Here you see in verse 1 and 4 the word wicked in most of your Bibles.There is a problem with that word.For most of us that word paints a really bad or evil picture.When you think of wicked you think of the really bad person, you may think of the Cinderella story with the wicked step mother, or you think of the witch who causes problems. Right?The word here in both of these is probably best read as “ungodly.”That does not have so much to do with behavior as much as making the statement that you don’t have God in your life.It doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in God, because you can believe in God and still be ungodly or live without God in your life.Matter of fact you can be a Christian and still live without God in your life or at least at the center of your life.This picture is if you don’t have God in your life you will not be stable you will always be like chaff.He is what makes you stable. This means if you want to be happy, blessed, fortunate and satisfied you have to have God in your life.You have to be the godly not the ungodly.So this is the starting place.Are you a tree or chaff, are you stable or just blown around by your circumstances.If you want to be a tree then we are told here what to do.
Actually it starts with a what not to do.To summarize what not to do in verse 1 is just simply this:If you want stability and stability comes from having God in your life don’t take your advice on how to be blessed, happy, fortunate and satisfied from those that don’t have God.It is as simple as that.We often let the unstable chaff give us the advice on how to be happy and it can never come from that.Most of the time the advice we get all has to do with improving what you have not who you are.That has to change this tell us exactly how to do this.Verse Psalm 1:2
but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
If we want to become a tree and not chaff this is the next step.What may scare many of you is when you see the word Law here.You may think this is saying you just need to follow the rules and regulations of the Bible.That’s not really it.When the Jews thought about the law they though of the whole of Scripture and what it was given for.What the Scriptures were given for was AND LISTEN CAREFULLY.They were given to teach us how to relate to God.How to have God with us.So the Psalm is consistent with you either have God or you don’t.This teaches us how.Not only does it teach us who He is and how to relate to Him, by the way not by rules and regulations.But we are to love it.We don’t go to have God because we have to but because we want to.That is why I love the Bible, I want to know as much about God as possible and I know this is where I will get it.Not only that but I think about Him and how to please Him all the time.That is what the day and night meditation is about here.we can either think about those without God are thinking about or we can think Him all the time.Maybe a good exercise once you answer if you are a tree or chaff would be to get a pie chart out.If we think 50,000 thoughts a day how many of your thoughts are about God and how to love and please Him?That can determine if you are ungodly or with out God.If you hardly think about Him that’s a problem.Then you are trying to do life without Him.If you do, you will stay chaff, just blown here and there by the circumstances of life.But if you are reading the Bible to learn more about how to know and please God.Thinking about Him you will then have God with you and you will find stability in your life.As this happens you will find yourself experiencing the Happy, blessed life, a life with purpose, you will be fortunate and find life pretty satisfying.