3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither. And whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3 NKJV
We do not know for sure who penned this psalm, but many think it was written by David. It tells us some of the blessings that a life devoted to God will bring. Not that we will live without difficulties, but that God will never leave our side as we go through them.
The prophet Jeremiah later elaborated:
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters which spreads out its roots by the river and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV
Heat and drought are facts of life – they will always come at one time or another. When we choose to live in God, we have a partner and protector when these do come. He permits us to go through these times of trial but will never give us more than we can handle. His goal is to make us more like Him. He uses adversity to knock off our defects of character like clay at a potter’s wheel (Jeremiah 18). By doing so, He is helping us to fit in better when we enter His eternal kingdom.
In Psalm 1, God gives us some guidance on how to achieve ever-green blessings:
- Avoid seeking spiritual counsel from those who oppose God. They are choosing to get their own spiritual counsel from another source, one that likely is in opposition to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Satan’s full-time job is to put a wedge between believers and God, and he will use many tricks to do so.
This does not mean that we should avoid all business counsel from non-believers, or trust that the same type of counsel from believers is always good. We are talking about spiritual counsel, matters of faith and of the heart. In Luke 16:8, Jesus acknowledges that non-believers can be more shrewd businesspeople than believers. But use prayerful wisdom and be selective, using discernment and love to avoid sinful or harmful actions against others. We can easily make a wrong choice when tempted by greed and a lust for more and more money and possessions.
- We should not make a habit of spending too much leisure time with those who indulge in sin. We must love others and reflect the life of Christ to them, but if we spend all our leisure time with those who routinely practice sin, it will eventually rub off on us. There is an expression, “if we hang around a barber shop long enough, we will end up getting a haircut”. I have met many inmates in jails and prisons who would not have been there if they had not been hanging around with the wrong crowd.
- Do not sit around mocking with scoffers. If we spend our time around people with critical and bitter attitudes, our attitudes will also suffer. We will find ourselves drifting further and further away from God and a way of life that is important to Him – love.
When we avoid bad influences and “stick with the winners” in our lives, we will grow in goodness, purity and God’s gift of righteousness. We will be ready when trials come, and, unlike those who mock God and His believers, we will stay green and in good spiritual health despite any heat and drought that suddenly surrounds us.
Are you aware of a time when God used adversity in your life to draw you closer to Him? Like clay on a potter’s wheel, did He use the difficult experiences of “heat and drought” to knock off a few rough edges?
Have you ever sensed the presence of God when you were going through a difficult time? How did He bring you through it?
What heat and drought are you going through today? We pray that the Lord will bring you relief and reveal His great love for you today.