Psalm 1 promises the blessings of the Lord throughout all the days He ordains for us. Speaking of women and men of faith, the psalmist writes:
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 King David. It tells us some of the blessings that a life devoted to God will bring. It is not that we will live life 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 come at one time or another. When we choose to live with God, we have a partner and protector when these trials do come. Though He permits us to go through times of trial, He will never give us more than we can handle. His goal is to use them to make us more like Him. Whether He chooses it or not, He will use adversity to chip away our defects of character, like clay on a potter’s wheel (Jeremiah 18). By so doing, He is shaping us to better fit in the eternal kingdom of God.
Reading all of Psalm 1 gives us guidance on how to achieve these 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 will always be good. We are primarily talking about spiritual counsel, matters of faith, and 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 with partnerships, using discernment and love to avoid being yoked to parties using sinful or harmful actions against others. We can easily (and knowingly) make wrong choices when tempted by greed and a yearning for more money and possessions, and may be drawn into permitting less-than- honest means, with bad consequences for everyone involved, including ourselves.
- 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 too much 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 get a haircut”. I have met many inmates when ministering 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 others with scoffers. If we spend our time around people with critical and bitter attitudes, our own attitudes will begin to suffer. We find ourselves drifting further and further away from God and the way of life that is important to Him – loving others.
When we seek to 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 more ready when trials come our way, and, unlike those who mock God and His believers, we will stay green and in good spiritual health despite any “heat or drought” that may surround us for a season.
Are you aware of a time when God used adversity in your life to draw you closer to Him?
Have you ever sensed the presence of God while you were going through a difficult time?
Father God, guide us to godly friends, business associates, and partnerships. We lift to You any “heat and drought” that we or others we know are going through today. Sustain us, grant us Your relief and comfort, and bring us through to a better and greener day. We thank You for Your great love, blessing, and protection, and for never leaving us nor forsaking us. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.