Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. Psalm 128: 1, 3 & 4
Fear does not initially sound like a way to happiness, but the fear that the psalmist writes about is not the kind of fear and trembling we felt when we were children. “Fear of the Lord” is mentioned often in the Bible. Fear is a biblical word for reverence and respect. When we honor God more than ourselves, when we revere and respect God, when we look to God for insight instead of relying solely on our own wits to get us through, life goes well for us. Life in union with God is a way to happiness; life in discord with God can be a jumbled and disconcerting mess. The psalmist entreats people to observe the ways of God, promising that if we seek to live holy lives, we will prosper, and our families with us.
It is a parent’s greatest joy to see his or her children grow up to become fine men and women. It should also be our great joy to see our spouses develop into the vital and fruitful people God created them to be. How wonderful it would be to “see our children’s children,” grow, thrive, and succeed! The Bible asserts that it all starts with our fear, or reverence, of God. Our family’s blessing relies heavily on our fidelity to God.
What would make you truly happy today?
Lord, I do not want to live scared of You, and I know that is not what You intend. I do, however, long to live happily. I long for my spouse and children and grandchildren to live blessed. If my fidelity and fearful reverence of You is the key to unlocking that kind of blessing for those whom I care about most, then I will pursue it with passion and persistence. I just ask that You pick me up when I falter, inspire me when I lag behind, and encourage me to do my best every step of the way. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.