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1362. Discovering True Happiness

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2022 7:00 pm

1362. Discovering True Happiness

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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October 18, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled “Encountering God,” with a message from Psalm 1.

The post 1362. Discovering True Happiness appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.


Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program Peter sermons from chapel services at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform. Dr. Steve Pettit is continuing a study series entitled encountering God, which is the study of select chapters in the book of Psalms. Let's listen to today's message where Steve will show how to discover true happiness from Psalm 111 ask you take your Bibles this morning. Please turn with me. The book of Psalms Psalms chapter 1 today. I like is to begin with. The very first song in a course or theme this semester is encountering God and that is through the Psalms. We actually enter into a very combination of emotional and spiritual and intellectual understanding of God is like the Psalms meets us right where we are is the book we go to when we are convicted is the book we go to when we are discouraged is the booklet we go to when we want to rejoice.

It's all of life's experiences found in the book of Psalms and so were going to look at a number of them will look at actually nine over the semester, I had originally thought about calling this the top 10 Psalms, but that's a problem because what about the other hundred and 40, so that's not very good, but these are going to be 10 select Psalms are nine select Psalms that will study some of them will be very familiar. Others will not solve the law and is one that is very familiar because not only is it the first saw, but it is also one that is very important for life of a young person. So let's look at someone beginning in verse one Blessed is the man that walk is not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standards in the way of sinners or sit at and the seed of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night, and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringing forth his fruit in his season is leaf also shall not wither.

And whatsoever he do it shall prosper. The ungodly are not so. But I like the chaff which the wind drive it the way.

Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous for the Lord know in the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly, shall perish. Someone is been called the preamble to the book of Psalms. What is that mean it simply means that it is the introduction to the rest of the Psalms. So what is written here in Psalm one is actually foundational for everything else that is in the rest of the book of Psalms is called a wisdom's all day gives us understanding about life and in particular about the choices that we make about our life. Charles Spurgeon viewed someone in this way, he said and I quote the matter of the first Psalms which may be looked upon in some respects as the tax upon which the whole of the Psalms makes up the sermon. It's like when you read the text and then the sermon is preached. Psalm one is basically the text for the rest of the book of Psalms. So we see then the Psalm.

This Psalm as the introduction to the rest and when we look at this.

We are immediately surprised to discover that David addresses the video in the very first word of the book, the deepest desire of the human heart and what is that desire.

Notice what he says in verse one is the desire to be happy, blessed is the man that is the word blessed means happy.

He appeals to us. He understands us. We are made in his image and he says here is the way to be happy. By the way, how important is it to be and had to be happy.

Aristotle believed that happiness is the ultimate end and purpose of human existence. He advocated a strong liberal arts education that stress the education of the whole man as necessary to produce a society of happy and productive people. How important is it to be happy is so important that the founding fathers of the United States of America wrote that life, liberty and The Pursuit of Happyness are in alienable rights to everyone who is here how important is it to be happy.

It is important to the book publishing industry in the year 2050 books were published on happiness in the year 2008, 4000 books in that year were published on happiness and currently Amazon holds 66,000 books on the subject of happiness. Yet, according to one poll called the Harris poll. Only one in three Americans consider themselves to be very happy.

And yet the Bible says happy is the man. Maybe you think this morning does God really want me to be happy and not only does God want you to be happy. God want you to be happy perpetually for the word blessed. Here is not in the singular.

It's in the plural. That is, it can mean perpetually blessed or it can be read blessedness is or happiness is so it is saying that I can be happy happy happy. That's what he opens the Psalms with in the pathway to true happiness in life so David starts out blessed is the man and then what is it, what does he establish is the basis of our happiness and he says in a practical way. The basis of our happiness is based on making right choices. That's what the Psalm is all about.

It's a wisdom song where choices have to be in alignment to God's way to happiness.

There's God's way and there's man's way. There really only two ways in life you could say this way. There two directions that lead to two destinies that are based upon two decisions. One way leads to happiness the right way and the other way leads to misery the wrong way. Look at what he says in verse six for the Lord know if the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly, shall perish. So the song is about the kind of choices you make. I have four children. They range in age from 25 to 39. Over and over. I have said to them ultimately your life is based on your choices, your mother and father love you. We try to give you the best education in the best home possible, but none of those things can actually resolve the fact that you have to make your own choices.

You are the result of the choices that you make in your life. You are responsible. If you are happy is because you may write choices. If you are miserable is because you've made wrong choices. In essence, this is what David is saying. So let's look this morning at first of all, the right way he speaks about the way to happiness and that will look at the way to misery someone captures. As we mention of fundamental teaching in both the old and New Testament that your choices there.

Determine the direction and the outcome of your life. We see this in the Old Testament listen to Deuteronomy 30 verse 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. We come to the New Testament and what is Jesus's message to the crowd. He said enter in at the strait gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat because strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it. It should be no surprise that David shows us the way here.

Happiness and that happiness if I could say actually has two sides to it. It's like a battery with two poles, a negative and a positive and so the way to happiness is first of all, avoiding a negative way and secondly it's following a positive way. What is the negative way that we are to avoid is what he says in verse one. Blessed is the man that walk is not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand up in the way of sinners, nor sit up in the seat of the score, scornful.

David starts with a warning that there are serious threats to the health of your happiness and these dangers are always in the realm of personal relationships. Let me say it again the danger that is set forth the threat in your life is always in the realm of personal relationships, happiness cannot be separated from the people that influence you and according to what David is saying here in Psalm one there are people that we should avoid people that are toxic. What is he say Blessed is the man that wants not stands not.

And since not poor, these threats fundamentally, they are people whose life pursuit. That is their desire for happiness is without God. That's the fundamental truth they are going this direction you're going this direction. You see it in the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis chapters 3 and four and five, where you have Canaan you have a bowl and then eventually had caning that Seth and you have the line of Seth. It sought the Lord in the line of King that went after the world.

They both sought happiness, but they went in different directions, and the way of the ungodly, is essentially life that is being satisfied and fulfilled through self-centered dreams and desires is with out regards to God. Their ways God's ways are ignored God's ways are scorned God's ways are held in contempt the laws of God are treated as outdated, irrelevant and unintelligent, but the way of the godly understands. It is the way that God is laid out in his work word David calls these people ungodly sinners and scornful, and their influence is not only toxic but is insidious.

What is that mean it starts and it grows over time and notice how he explains it he says it starts out with a simple wall. Blessed is the man that walk is not in the way of the ungodly. What does it mean to walk. It means your friend group who you hang out with you do a lot of walking here, Bob Jones, especially the guys because they have to come from this side. To this side to be able to eat.

It's a long haul. Now most people don't walk alone when you going to do dining, and you don't normally eat alone. You have a friend group and what he saying here is your walking with people and by the way they're going to influence you the go to rub off on you and they're going to affect you in your flat values in your life's purpose in your morality.

He says you walk with those who were ungodly then secondly, it leads to standing you now begin to associate and identify with them. You are becoming like them. It's impossible to have friends in your life who do not influence you. You cannot control how people will influence you but you can't control who influences you. That's the point he's making here and then finally you become one of them by joining them and sitting with them.

You then become the influencers and what he saying here is that friendships have a dangerous slip slippery slope that can lead in a spiral downward towards destruction and the irony of those who pursue happiness without God is that they never find it. It's in a lucid dream like a mirage in the desert so the psalmist is saying that the way to happiness is by decisively avoiding negative toxic relationships and influences in your life. Read the story about a man who dialed a wrong phone number. One day, and he got the following recording. I am not available right now, but I thank you for caring enough to call. I'm making some changes in my life.

Please leave a message after the beep if I do not return your call. You will note that you are one of the changes. Well, what is he saying one of the happiest about the way it is a happy decision when the happiness happiest and most freeing decisions in your life is when you decide to have a friend group that is it. Walking in the way of the God of the godly who is your community who are you allowing to influence you so there's the negative side, but then noticed the positive side, he said, happiness here is based upon nurturing a particular relationship and that is a deep relationship with God's word like what he says in verse two, but his delight is in the law of the Lord in his law doth he meditate day and night. A happy man has discovered something is like a treasure that he is found that is hidden and that is that the Bible is a continual and perpetual source of real pleasure here is the light. What do you delight in a bowl of ice cream what you delight in sleeping in on Saturday morning. What do you delight in going out with friends to eat at a restaurant. What is it that you have found in your life that is spiritually delighting to you what David is saying is he is discovered that the law of the Lord that's referring to the tour. That's the Old Testament, and particularly the first five books of the Old Testament. David said that he is found that the word of God is the source of his pleasure. So much so that he calls it, honey, you know back in biblical times. They didn't have the kind of suites that we have, but they had the natural suite of honey, that's what he called the word of God.

Back in 1998 I have the privilege of going on a missions trip to Kenya Africa with evangelist Tom Farrell. We had a trip one day when we drove to and 1/2 hours on a back road as far as the road could go back into the bush of Africa and we hiked down in escarpment into the valley where we had been invited to come into a village of people. A tribal group called the Maasai they are very primitive. They wear loincloths.

They carry big spears. They are known as the lion hunters they are. They are fearless people and we were invited to come into their village as a missionary and also we were the first white people to ever enter into their village we came in and spent time with them and we gather them all together.

The men sat under one's tree in the women and children sat under another tree and so we preached a sermon to them. It started out in English and that it was translated into Swahili and then it was translated into Maasai. We actually had two interpreters and Tom Farrell started out by preaching Genesis 1, two and three creation and the fall and then he turned it over to me and I went we went from Genesis 3 that John three, and how God provided a way of salvation from the fall, redemption in Jesus we gave an invitation that day and there were six adult men who receive Jesus as their Savior at a Baptist Church, a local church was established right there in that village. But I'll never forget what one of the Maasai elders said to us as we were leaving.

He said please send another mitt missionary to speak the word of God because we now have the taste of honey in our mouths and we don't want it to spoil. They had never heard the Bible preached and yet for them. They had tasted and they had seen that the Lord is good. When the living Lord bursts his flavor in your spiritual mouse to his written word. You have tasted the source of pleasure and delight. So how is it that we delight in the Lord really tells us, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law.he meditate day and night.

What is meditation meditation is well. It's almost better to try to ask used illustrations.

For example, it's the difference was between swimming on the top of the water and taking goggles and a snorkel and going below the surface. Have you ever snorkel before in places that give Clearwater and all kinds of life teaming underneath the water. My wife and I a number of years ago. I think it was like our 35th wedding anniversary. We went to Hawaii.

One of the things we love to do is snorkel so we found a spot that we could go in and we got in the water. When you look out all you do is use you see the water. It's it's it's an obviously it's got a pretty but it's after. While kind of boring, but when we drop below the hunter. We started laughing under the water, because as soon as we drop down we saw this massive sea turtle and you start swimming around and you just start discovering life teaming life underneath the water to me.

That's what meditation is. It's looking deeper into the Scripture. Most people have a very shallow relationship with the Bible but it is not until you mentally. With time, engage in reading and thinking and praying over the word of God. Some of compared meditation to a cow chewing its cud. Cows have one stomach with four compartments that you a clump of grass they swallowed it and it drops into the first stomach. Then they bring it back up for seconds and they swallow it and it drops into the second compartment they were up. Repeat the process. It goes back into the third stomach for third compartment and then the fourth compartment and then you end up drinking the leftovers. It's called milk.

What is meditation its constant chewing over the Scriptures day and night. It's like a person with Gomm in their mouth, and there always chomping how do you know if you delight in the law of the Lord will let me ask a question what is your mental default mode during the course of the day what you do with your free thoughts. What you do to pre-occupy your thoughts for most people today.

The default mode is technology, it's your cell phone. I mean, let's be honest, that's what it is tax Instagram email Snapchat DM's downloads, Google searches, YouTube, etc. games, but technology has become the modern source of meditation and I want to say this is the this is to the peril of the happiness of your own soul and you know that because we know for a fact that social media is a source of anxiety.

It affects your mental health. If you want strong mental health that is delightful and happy. Where is it found it is found in the wall of the Lord. What is the result of meditation where the Bible says it is always growth. He says you are like a tree planted by the rivers of water in this planet by the rivers of water is not referring to a natural tree growing by a natural stream, but it is a planted tree that is being cultivated by water that is being brought to the tree by a channel or what we call irrigation. It's more like an apple orchard or an orange grove or vineyard. A group of of grapes and the soul is being cultivated through intentional times in the word and this perpetual flow is in the abundant supply that will sustain and satisfy you, even in the most difficult times of life where families can be turned into wells in hard times for the believer can become productive. Two things he says right friends time in the word of God. Those were the two most important decisions I made after I became a believer.

At 19 years old, between my sophomore and senior year of college. It was right choices about friends, and it is learning to and discovering the delightful experience of being in the word of God.

So I want to ask your question are you a happy person and then very quickly. He gives us the wrong way.

The way not of happiness but the way of misery, for he tells us in verse for the ungodly are not so Spurgeon makes a powerful point when he notes that the Hebrew proposes a dog a double negative.

Not so the ungodly, not so what is he saying he sang the way of the ungodly will never, never prosper and he is showing here. What is prosperity because there is a prosperity for the believer, and that comes through relationships in the word of God. But what is he saying here the ungodly will not prosper. They are like chaff meaningless, purposeless, lifeless, and the end of our life is without God, they will not pass God's judgment. They will not be found in the congregation of the righteous in heaven, and the ultimate happiness he is saying here is that we will live eternally in the presence of God and the ultimate misery is to spend eternity without God. So the end of the song before we go any further into the Psalms. We have to make a choice and that is which way are you going to go no question there only two kinds of people in this room only two kinds of people.

You're one or you the other you are on your choices are leading you on the way to the righteous or with the righteous for your choices are following the way of the ungodly, and so let me say it again. It's dogmatic, you are on one of those two ways. There's only two kinds of people in this room which way are you own. Would you bow your head with me as we pray father I pray this morning that the sober reality of this beginning song that really lays out for us the way to be happy is neglected by many and it is received by many and father I pray for every person in this room and as we have been praying as a student body at large.

Lord I pray that there would be many who would choose the way of the godly and I pray that they will make right choices about friendships and relationships and in particular that they will learn to discover the lighting in the word of God that they will actually take to invest time in meditation and study of the Scriptures, father, be merciful to us because you are mercy and be gracious to us because you are full of grace. In Jesus name, amen. You've been listening to a sermon from Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University from the study series encountering God, which is a study from the book of Psalms.

Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study of Psalms here on The Daily Platform

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