Summary: Written as a Father’s Day message and challenge to sink our roots deep into God to find real happiness.
Many are familiar with the “beattitudes” in Jesus’ sermon on the mount. They include:
• “Blessed (or happy) are the poor in spirit – those who realize their need for God – for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.”
• “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
• “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
• “Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
Psalm 1 also sounds like a beatitude.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."(NIV)
Last year Will Smith played the lead role in the movie, “Pursuit of Happiness.” It’s based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a salesman struggling to make a better life for him and his young son, played by Will’s son, Jaden.
You recognize the title of the movie comes from the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
At the beginning of the movie Chris Gardner wonders if the key word is “pursuit.” Maybe happiness is a lifelong pursuit but never really attained. Do we put too much emphasis on chasing happiness?
Malcolm Muggeridge (journalist, author) said, “I can say that I never knew what joy was like until I gave up pursuing happiness… For [this discovery] I am beholden to Jesus.”
Edith Wharton (author) said, “If we’d only stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time.”
Martin Luther said, “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
It seems they’re all saying that we won’t gain happiness when our constant focus is insuring that God and others please us.
A. W. Tozer said, “No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he should be.”
Whether you are holy, and therefore happy, depends on where you sink your roots. It depends on where you draw your values, aims and nourishment. The Bible says we’ll be happy when life is rooted in pleasing God.
Psalm 1:1-2 offers that the key to holiness and happiness is being careful of who and what influences our mind, shapes our soul, feeds our spirit.
Notice the progression in verse 1.
“Blessed is the man who does not…
walk in the counsel of the wicked or…
stand in the way of sinners or…
sit in the seat of mockers.”
You’re going to be in trouble if you walk the wrong path, stop and linger there with ungodly people, then take a seat and stay. You’re putting down roots in the wrong soil and you’re going to grow the wrong fruit
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked …”
In the Bible the “wicked” are godless people of low moral condition with no respect for God. They live for themselves but are always dissatisfied and restless. Isa 57:20-21 “…the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest… God says, ‘There is no peace for the wicked.’"
After a family dinner one Sunday afternoon my dad and uncles were sitting around the living room talking politics. Uncle Walter kept dozing off and dad would tickle his ear with a napkin corner. They all enjoyed watching him awaken and swat at his ear as if being bothered by a fly. Finally, when Walter awoke somewhat irritated, another uncle said, “You know, Walter, the Bible says there’s no rest for the wicked.” Uncle Walter responded, “I know. But they don’t have to keep me up with’em.”
Do you want God’s blessing? Do you want real happiness? Don’t walk in the counsel of those who disregard God. Their so-called “wisdom” will lead on a path away from God, away from holiness, away from lasting joy.