Happy Are Those Who…

Key Text: Psalm 1:1

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.

There is no shortage of definitions or prescriptions for happiness:

  • Fame
  • Money
  • Lots of vacation time
  • Family
  • A successful career
  • Retirement
  • A wonderful partner in love
  • A fresh start
  • Health
  • Surfing the perfect wave

I am sure you could add to the list if you gave it some thought.

Scripture says that “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path sinners tread or sit in the seat of scoffers.”

To put it a little more positively, it is a life highlighted by delighting in God’s guidance and abiding presence.  It is meditating on that guidance; that law and covenant each day and night.

Just today I saw the latest copy of Esquire’s BLACK BOOK that promises to advise “successful men” on what they must own and how they must look in order to have real “style” and – I suppose – real “success.”  It includes things like owning a leather jacket that is priced out at a little over $9,000.00

Please, give me a break.

Scripture has it right.  Happy are those who live a life of faith, in loving relationship with the living God.

It has nothing to do with $9,000 leather jackets.

It has everything to do with a priceless life with God.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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