The purpose of this post is to see how God both defines happiness and provides a clear path to obtaining it, according to Psalm 1:1-2.
The first two verses of Psalm 1 describe the man or woman who is “blessed.” This is such an often-used word, but one that captures the essence of the Christian life. It simply means “happy.” But it’s a happiness that comes from a right relationship with God, an internal contentment and joy regardless of external circumstances. It is something we can and should experience even when plagued by hardship and suffering.
How do we obtain such an attitude? Psalm 1:2 answers that question: “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
When you think of the word “delightful,” what comes to mind? I’ve got my list. A walk in the woods. A cool breeze on a hot day. A home-cooked meal. Time with family. We all have activities and relationships that bring much delight into our lives.
The psalmist says that he finds delight in the law of God. “Law” means instruction or teaching. So this can be a reference to the entire Word of God, not just the “Law of Moses” or the Ten Commandments.
The psalmist finds delight in God’s Word because “on his law he meditates day and night.” We all spend our day with a million and one thoughts racing through our minds, competing for our attention. Take a moment and think about what you think about. No pun intended, but it is mind-boggling, isn’t it?
So many thoughts can be random, meaningless and, of course, negative. Oh, how I regret the countless hours I’ve wasted on the battlefield of my mind. There must be a better way to use our minds! And there is. It is right here in Psalm 1:2 – the antidote for a wandering mind is to discipline ourselves so that we regularly focus our attention on the Word of God by reading it, studying it, and memorizing it.
If you are new to the Bible, this can be a challenge at first. But it is well worth the time and effort. I urge you to make Bible-time a priority in your life. Like any new habit, start small and focus on setting aside a specific time to meet with God daily by reading his Word and praying about what you read.
Consistency is the key. Set a simple goal for yourself, such as 15-20 minutes each day for the next 21 days. Example: Read a chapter a day in the book of Psalms and in three weeks you will have read 21 psalms! Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Yes! In fact, that would be delightful!
We’re not talking about a huge amount of time. Reading one psalm should take about 5 or 10 minutes. You could start a Bible reading journal, and after reading a psalm, write down your thoughts. Answer these simple questions: What did I learn about God in this passage? And what is my response to this teaching? Or, to borrow from Francis Schaeffer, in light of this passage, how should I then live?
Then pick your favorite verse from the psalm, write it down on a 3×5 card, and carry it with you. As opportunity presents itself during the day, reflect on this verse by taking out the card and reciting the verse when standing in line at the store or walking to your car or waiting in the doctor’s office.
Conclude your Bible reading and journaling with a time of prayer, asking God to help you memorize this portion of Scripture by meditating on it throughout the day.
The rewards of a life of daily meditation on the Bible are great: God says you will be blessed. You will experience the happiness that comes from the world’s most reliable source of never-ending delight – the Creator of heaven and earth.