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Happy or Blessed?

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly! - Psalm 119:1-8


“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” - Matthew 5:3-12


“I just want to be happy!”

I often hear people say that. Maybe you have said it too. In a world filled with frustrations and disappointments, we long for a ray of sunshine. The founders of the United States considered being happy important enough to put it in their Declaration of Independence, saying that we all have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The first section of Psalm 119 points us to the Lord and the great blessing he gives, filling our lives with happiness. God blesses us through his Word, and that calls for a wholehearted response on our part. Simply knowing what’s in the Bible is not enough. We can read it from cover to cover and still feel miserable.

That’s because unhappiness is caused by our self-will and our sinful disobedience. When we live according to our own ideas and values, we will always run into trouble. But when we willingly conform our lives to what the Lord Jesus wants us to be, we will find the blessing he promises, as we read here in Matthew 5:3-12.

Is this easy? No. Again and again we have to resolve to seek God’s will and not our own. The author of this psalm cries out, “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying.” And with God’s help we can be steadfast.

Are you joining in this pursuit of happiness?

 

The devotional message, “Happy or Blessed?” was written by Pastor David Zandstra, and appeared in “Today”, www.today.reframemedia.com; August 1, 2014. Used here with permission from the website.