Summary: Exegetical sermon on Psalm 1.
Your Blessed Life Now!
Do you remember as a child the feeling you would get when Christmas was on the way? Do you remember the tree, shining and decorated, sitting in it’s honored place in the living room. Each day it caught your eye, and each day it reminded you of the joy to come. Perhaps there were presents stacked underneath that you had meticulously shuffled through checking the tags for your name. Do you remember the excitement and the eager anticipation for the joy that awaited you on that day? Take yourself back to that day and remember the joy and anticipation, or consider any such situation in your life when you were excited about the promise of a future joy. That is what it means to be blessed. When the Bible speaks of someone who is blessed it refers to happiness or anticipation that comes from the coming of good and wonderful things. Isnt it a great thing to feel blessed? To know that great things are on the horizon and to be eagerly anticipating what is ahead is a wonderful feeling. To have your troubles and hardships overshadowed by a great and wonderful anticipation of what the future has in store. How many of us want to live blessed lives? How many of us want to be filled with the reflection of great and wonderful things on the way? Blessed = “Oh the happiness!”
How many of you want to feel cursed? If being blessed means an eager expectation of the good and joy on it’s way to you, how many want to loath tomorrow and its coming misery? Who wants to dread the future? Like when I was a teenager and I wrecked my car because I was not paying attention when I was driving. I had to make that call to my parents. I knew that nothing good awaited me in that call or in the days ahead. At that point I felt like everything I touched turned into a mess. Have you been there? Are you there now? Does the cloud of impending doom hang over your head this morning?
According to a recent study by the World Health Organization and Harvard Medical School, America may very well be the saddest nation in the world. Researchers found that 9.6 percent of Americans suffer from depression or bipolar disorder—the highest among 14 major nations polled. Those nations that scored better than the U.S. suffer from ongoing wars and rumors of war (Lebanon), vast unemployment (Mexico), and profound poverty (Nigeria). In his Wall Street Journal article, "The Great Depression," Bret Stephens argues that perhaps America scores poorly as a nation because its population is generally comfortable and wealthy. Such luxuries allow that much more time for critically picking apart life situations and personal circumstances. Those who live in countries torn apart by varying social and economic issues have less time to fret over personal gain and ambition. They are simply too busy trying to survive.
Another study showed that although the U.S. standard of living has increased since W.W. II, there is no increase in the number of people who regard themselves as happy. A U.S. News & World Report on the subject says, "Once income provides basic needs, it doesn’t correlate to happiness. Nor does intelligence, prestige, or sunny weather. People grow used to new climates, higher salaries, and better cars."
How can we be a blessed people rather than a cursed people? How can we feel the favor of God and the eager anticipation of his goodness that is awaiting us? How can we escape the prison of despair and the fear of tomorrow? How do you rid yourself of the feeling when you wake up in the morning that you wished you were still asleep? How can we live a blessed life instead of a depressed life?
Prayer for God to show us how to live blessed lives that are filled with hope and an eager expectation of his plans and purposes.
1 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;
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
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
1. A Man is Blessed By What He Abandons.