Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat 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 bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)
I don’t know about you but when I see how the ungodly seem to be blessed in
comparison to the struggles I go through as a Christian, it seems my sacrifices are in vain. Sometimes I wonder if this Christian walk is worth the trouble I have to go through. After all, the unrighteous look like they’re getting the better part of the deal. Despite appearances, the ways of the righteous results in fruitfulness and blessings. Time and experience have taught me the key to the fruitfulness and blessings God has ordained for our lives lies in understanding that walking in righteousness doesn’t mean the fruit of your labors are immediately evident. Psalm 1:3 says, “And he shall be…” “Shall be” implies there’s a process we must go through to get to the blessing. The problem is we want to skip the process and go straight to the blessing.
When I read Psalm 1:3 I realized there’s a lot we can learn from trees because like Christians they undergo a great deal of adversity. They have to contend with blight, rain, lightning strikes, hale, blizzards and windstorms. They’re exposed to all kinds of adverse conditions. Some trees topple over in the midst of a storm, while others remain erect and continue to thrive. Those that remain standing only suffer a minimal loss of leaves and branches. A tree’s roots must run deep for it to remain standing in the midst of a storm. When there’s a drought, a tree’s roots are forced to drive deeper into the soil to find water. The water is its source of life.
Many people, when they find themselves in the pressure cooker of life, respond in one of two ways. They either get fighting mad or run off scared. God expects His people to respond contrary to human nature. Have you ever had God tell you to “Stand still” in the midst of chaos and uncertainty? It’s hard to stand still and trust God to move on your behalf when it seems He’s oblivious to your situation. Trials can blind you to the purposes of God, especially when there seems to be no relief in sight. Like a tree, you’re only as strong as your roots are deep. You need deep roots in Christ to weather the storms of life.
Every tree begins its life cycle as a seed. The seed looks nothing like the tree it will become. The seed has to endure harsh conditions beneath the soil before it experiences breakthrough. As Christians we often question why we must suffer. One of the reasons we go through is because God uses adverse circumstances as the platform to launch our success. The key to success is to stay in place and allow God to produce fruitfulness and blessings in your life.
In Psalm 1:3 the psalmist speaks of a tree that’s planted by rivers of water. This tree has a continual source of water it abides and thrives in and because of its life source. Like these rivers of water, the Word of God offers an inexhaustible source of provision. The blessed man doesn’t just read the Word; he meditates on it until it becomes a part of him and it, not the world, dictates his walk. You need a steady diet of Scripture to stay rooted and grounded in Christ in the midst of trials, tribulation and temptation.
Psalm 1:2 says the blessed man delights in God’s law. God’s Word nourishes, fortifies and anchors him in the midst of trouble and uncertainty. Deep roots in Christ stimulate spiritual growth and enable you to bear mature fruit that has lasting effects. The sacrifices you’re called to make today pale in comparison to the rewards God has waiting for you.
Regardless of the duration or intensity of the storm you may be facing, just keep reminding yourself that you’re stronger than the storm. God made you to outlast the storm. You can weather the greatest of storms when you abide in God’s Word. Avoid the inclination to uproot yourself when things don’t seem to be working out in your favor. God doesn’t promise a lack of trials. But he does promise eventual victory. The fruit and blessings that God will produce through your trails will be worth the walk, worth the work, and worth the wait.
Until next time…
Reverend Cynthia Jackson