People, I want all of you to be happy and also, I want to be happy too. NRSV translates the beginning of Psalm 1 with these words, “Happy are those.” so these are the people who are happy. The reason it didn’t say, “Blessed are those” where NIV uses blessed, but in NRSV says “happy are those “because the word happy is different from blessing. “Baruch” is an original word for blessing, but “Ashrae” is more like happy, but “Ashrae,” comes from the root word related to journeying through life. So happiness is not just a condition or state of being, happiness is a lifetime process. It’s not just sometimes you feel happy. That’s not what happiness is. Happiness is your entire life. Psalmist has that in his mind. That’s why when he wrote Psalm, the first word that he uses, he starts with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, “alef.” And the last word he uses the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is “tough” or “tar”. In other words, the Psalm one includes the whole alphabet or whole life. So someone is not just introduced to the Psalm but, Psalm one is more like an introduction to your whole life. That’s why people like Martin Luther said, Psalm is a little Bible cause within Psalm, the whole Bible is contained, whole life is within Psalm. So happiness is not a temporary feeling or condition you’re in. So I hope that you all understand what happened is this, so in life, accept that there are good times but also bad times, painful times. There are times when you laugh, but there are also times when you cry. There are times when you can see very clearly what’s ahead of you, but there are also times that you cannot see anything but darkness.
Happiness As We Live
So life is like that. Happiness is being made in these highs and lows of your life. Happiness is continuously being made in every circumstance. It encompasses every circumstances that you’re in. That’s how the scripture sees happy people. For example, Jacob we studied in Wednesday Bible study at TBS, Jacob, there were times when he had to run away from home and then spent the night all alone in the wilderness. Probably he was pretty depressed then, but there was also a time when he came back and met with Esau and reconciled with Esau and that was his lifetime problem. So Jacob did not always have a good time, he had a bad time too. Joseph same thing, when he was sold off into Egypt and then when he was in prison, he hit rock bottom of his life. But also there was a time when he became the highest person next to Pharaoh in Egypt. So happiness Joseph includes his whole life.
Just because right now you’re entangled with your problems. That doesn’t mean that your life is not happy. Just because you are surrounded by darkness, that doesn’t mean that your life is not happy. Just because you are right now tormented by pain, that does not mean that your life is not happy. Even in that pain, even in that darkness, somehow the happiness is booming alive within you, the happiness moves forward through problems, through the darkness, and through the pain. Happiness has its power to move. It’s like the root of the tree planted by streams of water, their roots continuously moves through the hard soil to reach the water. In the same way, happiness within us, even though we have a lot of problems and difficulties and pain, it has the power to go through, move through those to reach God’s blessing. That’s what I believe.
The only thing that you need is not to give up, not to give up. If you give up, no one can help. You don’t even have to try so hard to make your life happy because happiness has its own course of moving, so you don’t need to do so much of it. But if you’ll give up, that happiness will not have the power to move through your life problems. What you need is to open up the way, open up the road so that happiness can move through. That’s what you gotta do. Never give up. What is giving up like? Life of giving up is like living without passion. Life of giving up is like a reckless and thoughtless life. Life of giving up is merely to exist. You just go through the motion of life, the life of not giving up. What does it look like? Life of not giving up is a life of seeking, a life of searching, trying to find treasure in life, and a life of knocking.
Pave A Path
That’s what life of not giving up is like. The Psalmist describes what a happy person is like. It says, “their delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law, they meditate day and night.” They meditate day and night. It’s not the action that psalmist is talking about. It is a whole outlook of that person, the happy person. It’s not just and now you take 10 minutes and then meditate on the desk. No that’s not what he’s talking about, it is lifestyle or meditating day and night. What is that? Meditating in life is like seeking life, seeking treasure day and night. When you read Psalm one very carefully, there are so many happy people. All they do is meditate day and night. Nothing much. It looks like nothing but it is not nothing. In their lifestyle, what you have to see is their attitude towards their life, their passion, their seeking, the courage to live, deep understanding of life, the power to exist. All these things involve in that simple-looking meditation of day and night. It’s not nothing, it’s everything. Meditating day and night is like a propeller that moves your life forward. That’s what keeps you going! People who have that power never give up because it’s like a propeller that moves your life! Even when you want to give up! Even when you have no energy, it moves you! For people who meditate day and night, there’s no such thing as giving up. They never sit on their problems and just complain. They rise and move on. There’s a powerful force within them. The force, nothing can stop, no life circumstance can stop the powerful force that is moving within you in that lifestyle. Happiness moves toward happiness. That life is like opening the door and paving the road for happiness. The Psalmist to express that in this way. “In all that they do, they prosper.” The word prosper is used but probably not the best translation. That word ‘prosper’ in Hebrew. It has the meaning of pushing forward to pass through, to get on. Somehow Korean translation is a little better. It says “…” passing through.
Life should be completely opened up. It should not be blocked. What is a life of being blocked like? That’s a sinful life. Do you want to see? Look at the life of the wicked, I used the NIV because it’s a better translation there. “Walk in the step with the wicked or stand in the way the sinners take or sit in the company of markers.” Do you see the movement walk, stand and sit? In other words, in the end, you get trapped. Ultimately you get stuck. That’s what happens to the sinful life. Sinful life always takes you deeper and deeper into this trap and in the end, you become so stuck that your life cannot move on, your life cannot go forward. For example, if you have a sinful habit, ultimately that binds you. You get so stuck. Your life cannot move on. Your life cannot go forward. Life has to go forward. When every chain that binds you gets broken up, then we can powerfully move forward and meditating day and night is like a breaking every chain that binds you up so that now you have the freedom to move forward.
That’s when we can fly like an eagle. Isn’t that what Isaiah confessed? “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Even youth will faint and be weary and the young will fall exhausted, but those who wait for the Lord, those who meditate on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” That is a life of prospering. When you have this power to pass through, nothing will be able to stop you. The power, that power will be ultimately. The power that passed through death, that power will pass through death. Don’t just trust yourself. You’ll be drained. You’ll be exhausted. You’ll not be consistent. Your life is not going to be consistent. At times you get excited, but soon your power is gone and you get so exhausted and burned out. Meditate the Lord Day and night. Happy people are those who have this power. Of course, they have their own difficult time. They get frustrated. Sometimes they cry as the choir sang, Jesus went through tremendous pain and suffering, sometimes even fall and fail, but the power then moves forward through all the thickness of life works within them. The power comes from meditating God’s Word day and night. That’s not nothing. That’s everything. That’s what makes your life strong. Do that live your life meditating day and night, your life will be different.