“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners,or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (Psalm 1:1-3, NLT).
There is great joy for those who delight in God's Word and follow its precepts. It is not a joy the world gives, because the world doesn't offer anything that lasts. The things it offers wither and die. Circumstances change, and with those changes we are emotionally blasted with feelings that change just as much. Life becomes a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and extreme lows. When our roots run shallow in His Word and run shallow in faith, we become like a ship on a sea of life's rough waters with no anchor.
Our choices determine our lives. If we won't listen to and follow those who give advice which is contrary to God's Word, we shall put down stronger roots of faith. Our company affects our actions. If we don't hang around with those who mock Him and sin against Him, peer pressure will not tempt us to let go of our faith. Instead we need to surround ourselves with those who love and live for Him. Our faith will be encouraged; our roots of faith will grow deeper and stronger anchoring us to His sure foundation.
Like trees along the riverbank that produce a bountiful harvest in season, a bountiful harvest of fruit can also burst forth in our lives. Sinking roots deeply in Him, we can draw nourishment from what He alone provides. No matter what life brings–no matter our highs or lows, we can have peace in the midst of hardship. We we can be rooted strongly in Him by living a righteous life. He “provides for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:3, NIV).
I wish for my life to be like that of an oak which stands strongly against the storms of life. To know His joy through rough waters, I will be deeply and firmly rooted in His truth. I will follow His Word, and listen to His direction. I will delight in His Word and in His presence. Surrounding myself with those who inspire my faith, I will determine to grow in His grace. My life was created to bear fruit–not just a little fruit, but the abundant fruit of His love, joy, and peace. It was created to bear His fruit of patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. My life was created to be anchored in Him and planted in Him so that I might be a witness of His glory to others.
I find the greatest joy in living for Him! It is fulfillment beyond anything my human mind can fathom! I may cry because of circumstance, and I may weep from loss. My leaves and limbs may be shaken fiercely by things beyond my control, but I know, whatever life brings, that being deeply grounded in Him, I shall stand strong.