Happy and Fearful
What do you think would bring you happiness today? Submit these things to the Lord in prayer.
Read Psalm 128
1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing
for the man who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children—
peace be on Israel.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of something that makes you happy. Why does it make you feel that way?
It’s likely that you’re familiar with the song “Happy” sung by Pharrell Williams. It featured in the soundtrack of Despicable Me 2, but its fame has long since outstripped that of the film. It’s catchy, easy-listening music. In short, it makes you feel happy! However, you wouldn’t want to listen to it for too long. Like anything that’s too sweet, you’ll end up with a general sense of nausea. An excess of sugar generally leads to deeply unpleasant feelings.
This psalm starts with an outburst of happiness. “Oh no, I can only cope with so much of this,” might be one way of reacting to it, particularly if your current circumstances are difficult. However, the psalmist qualifies his meaning. Happiness is the product of fearing the Lord. It’s not about good times or feelings or a Disney kind of glow. Fearing the Lord is about getting perspective into our lives. He is Lord of everything, he can be trusted and his purposes (however mysterious) are good. This is where wisdom is found (Prov. 9:10) and also happiness, as it turns out. Faith wears a smile, even manages to laugh at times when God’s presence is discerned. Fearing the Lord means leaning on him when things are dire and knowing that this is
not the end; that all our crosses have one empty tomb.
No matter what situation you find yourself in today, make the decision to praise the Lord in that moment—quietly or out loud!
Lord, lift my spirits with Your Holy Spirit, that I might know Your joy.