Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, “I surrender to your love” or “Abba I belong to You,” until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
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; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
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. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
(We will spend a few days on this Psalm which will give time to meditate upon it and memorize.)
The first word of the first Psalm, from the book that teaches us how to pray, is blessed. The first word in Jesus’ essential teaching from the Sermon on the Mount is blessed. The first word from God to you today is that you are blessed.
Blessed, is, first, a condition. It means to be happy. There is so much unhappiness in this world that when we taste happiness in some form, we continue to seek it like a thirsty man searches for a cold drink of water to slake his thirst. We follow ways that promise happiness, but end in despair. We chase phantoms that vanish quickly. We seek blessedness in places where no blessedness can be found. Blessedness cannot be found outside of God. That is the message of the Psalm.
The Psalmist uses the picture of a verdant tree planted by a river as a metaphor for blessedness. Even if there is a drought, this tree is fruitful. The river is always there. The tree is always being nourished. The constancy of God is reflected in the constancy of a fruitful life.
Jesus teaches that our condition in life may seem to be anything but blessed, but if we are in His kingdom, we are blessed. The poor, mourning, persecuted, hungry, etc. are blessed. (Luke 6) Grace gives us a condition of blessedness despite our outward state. We are in God’s care, and though we may be hurting, we experience no harm because of His love and care of us.
Lord, help me remember that when I am hurting, still, no harm can befall me. (Psalm 91:10)
Blessedness is also a way of life. Blessedness comes by how I walk and through the choices I make. The Hebrew word for blessed is similar in sound to the Hebrew word for steps. The steps I take in this life can either lead to blessedness or despair. When I follow “in His steps” there is blessedness. When I go my own way, hopelessness.
Here are some choices to make to experience blessedness. Delight in the Lord. Meditate upon His word. Choose the congregation of the righteous over the congregation of sinners.
God offers me these choices in order to experience joy. He wants to bring blessedness to my life. After all, it is His first word to me. He will not force blessedness upon me, but oh, how He longs to bless. Be blessed today.
Questions to consider and actions to take:
What do I view as true blessedness in this life? What do I normally delight in? What would it mean to delight in the Lord today?
Meditate upon this Psalm throughout the day. You might write the Psalm on an index card and take it out and read it several times today.
Journal this week on how this Psalm speaks to you and brings direction to your life.
Lord, I want to be blessed. Help me to realize that all blessing is found in my relationship with you. Help me to understand that every good and perfect gift comes from you and those things that I might pursue outside of you will only harm me. I choose to be blessed today. I choose to delight in You today my Father as you delight in me. I am your child Papa. I belong to You. AMEN