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God loves us and wants us to be truly happy. Just read Psalm 128. It tells us how to be happy in Him and some of the tangible things that He gives us along the happy path of life.

Verse 1 says “Everyone who honors the LORD, who walks in God’s ways, is truly happy.”(Common English Version)

Happiness begins with honoring the LORD and walking in His ways. I like this version of the Bible, CEV. I believe that God loves us and wants us to be happy, and twice in the first two verses the Psalmist uses the word happy. This Psalm also uses the words bless and blessed, which in the Old Testament mean the happy condition of those who revere the Lord and do his will and put their trust in him and live under the guardianship and faithful care of the gracious Lord of life.

Verse 2 says “You will definitely enjoy what you’ve worked hard for – you’ll be happy; and things will go well for you.”

We enjoy life when we are able to eat the fruit of our labors. Most of the O.T. people lived in an agricultural society and they depended on the goodness of God to have good harvests. In Deuteronomy, Moses gave a list of blessings and curses. He said that if you obey God, you will have good harvests, but if you disobey his commands, then he will not send the rains to make the crops grow, or he will send locusts to eat the crops or enemies to take the food away.

A few years ago, our family went from Mexico, where we live, to Colorado, to visit my family. They live in an agricultural area where lots of wheat and corn are grown. One day they had a big hail storm. The next day we went for a drive and saw that many of the crops in large fields had been destroyed. The farmers who owned those fields were not able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. How sad to work hard for something and then not get the reward for the labor put in. How happy we are when see and enjoy the benefits of our investment of time and hard work.

Verse 3 says “In your house, your wife will be like a vine full of fruit. All around your table, your children will be like olive trees, freshly planted.”

Nothing God has given me brings me more pleasure and joy than my wife and children.

Verse 4 says “That’s how it goes for anyone who honors the LORD: they will be blessed!”

Another way to put it is that God loves us so much that if we honor Him we will receive blessings galore!

Verse 5 says “May the LORD bless you from Zion. May you experience Jerusalems goodness your whole life long.

The person who enjoys a happy life will be blessed by God from mount Zion, from Jerusalem. Before verse one of this Psalm, we read that it is a song of accent. This was a song that people would sing as they made their way up to Jerusalem to attend the three great festivals that God commanded the people to attend each year. They would go to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices at the temple. God’s presence was most powerful in the temple. That was the House of God. The idea was that from there his power radiated out to the city of Jerusalem, then to the region of Judah, then to all Israel, and then to the whole world. So any blessings that people received from God came initially from the temple. People were especially blessed by God when they worshiped him at the temple in Jerusalem. And they would see and experience the well being of God no matter where they lived as the blessings of God would flow to them from Mount Zion. Jesus is now the temple and rich gifts like grace, mercy and joy flow from His love out into the whole world.

What encouraging and inspiring words from Psalm 128. Surely we live in a “happy condition” because we are able to trust in the LORD and live under his faithful care. Our natural response is to honor him, walk in his ways and be truly happy.


God loves us and wants us to be happy. That’s an important aspect for us to keep in mind as we go through life living in this “already – not yet” kingdom of God. Paul reminds us in Romans 14 that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, something the Roman Christians were losing track of, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. I like Wikipedia’s definition of joy; the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune, and is typically associated with feelings of intense, long lasting happiness.

That’s what God wants for his people. Intense, long lasting happiness. God’s people in Rome were getting all worked up about what foods were clean to eat and what foods weren’t, and were passing judgment on one another and condemning each other. Paul tells them in verse 14 that he personally, was convinced that nothing is unclean in itself, but if it distressed his brother in the Lord, that he would not eat certain types of food, because that would not be acting in love.

Acting in love is what God did for us in rescuing, redeeming and restoring us; in bringing us into his kingdom through the blood of Jesus the Messiah. Bringing us into his kingdom is all about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is about well-being, thriving and flourishing. It is about feelings of intense, long lasting happiness.

Jesus speaks about the kingdom of God in terms of joy as well. In Matthew 13:44 Jesus says the kingdom of heaven (or kingdom of God) is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. When he buys the field he is filled with feelings of intense, long lasting happiness.

When we buy into the kingdom of God, we too get to experience that same happiness.

For us to experience this joy, we must have the Holy Spirit. Living in the kingdom of God means living under the reign of the King. It is the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to the joy that awaits us in the kingdom and in the King, and who invites us to be a part of the kingdom. And it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to live in peace and to thrive with our kingdom brothers and sisters.

Paul writes in Ephesians 5 that we should be filled with the Spirit (18). When we are filled with the Spirit, we are filled with joy and sing and make music from our hearts to the Lord (19). This also gives us the ability and desire to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (21). The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes to a strange, new realization that goes against the grain of this world’s general operating system. That realization being that we will be happier people, not by domineering other people, but by submitting to other people. Not by ruling, but by serving. Not by throwing our weight around but by throwing our energy into helping others.

So, we may not be judging each other or condemning one another about what we are eating and drinking, but there is a fair amount of strife among Christians about different political and social issues. We can’t bury our heads in the sand when it comes to these issues and act like they don’t exist or are not important. But we also shouldn’t condemn to hell as reprobates those who hold different opinions than we do. We should remember, and, with the power of the Holy Spirit, live in the kingdom of God together as righteous, peace loving, children of God, and that will fill us with joy.

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