Blessed. To some, it just sounds like archaic, out-of-date vocabulary, but it’s word that means to label what makes for a good life of human flourishing. How do we live with deep peace, rich joy, measureless love? How do we live blessed?

I recently read again those well-known lines that begin the book of Psalms:

1Blessed is the one
         who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
         or sit in the company of mockers,
2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
         and who meditates on his law day and night.
3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
         which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
         whatever they do prospers. (Ps. 1:1-3)

In technical terms, to get to the blessed outcomes in verse 3, I need to avoid the path warned against in verse 1 and embrace the path pointed out in verse 2. (Why not take a moment to read those psalm lines above again in light of this idea?)

Rather than go in the same direction as those who take no care for what God loves, I delight in whatever God has in mind. Rather than settle into places where people will do whatever it takes to get what they think they want, I stand in the good presence of God, rooted and at home there. Rather than get friendly with those who live to ridicule anything and everything, I keep company with those who love to honor what is good and true.

Such is the blessed life. The kingdom of God is a place of joy that is greater than any thrill or buzz this world has on offer. The presence of God is brimming with vitality and holy energy. The Person of God is absolutely, immeasurably delightful.

Lord, teach me to have eyes and ears open to everything you call good. Give me a heart and a mind that embraces that good. Give me hands and feet that move into and share that goodness. In this way, Lord, bless me and may I be blessed. Amen.

For Reflection:

  • Where have you been looking for a sense of blessedness—of having a very good life? Have you been finding it?
  • In light of the counsel in this psalm, what would it look like in this season of your life to “delight in the law of the Lord?”
  • How might you find and feel pleasure in what God says is reliably good?


Photo by Tom Ezzatkhah on Unsplash