Finding Encouragement and Hope in Psalm 1
Psalm 1 offers encouragement and hope for the person who finds joy in the Word of God.
The Psalmist focuses on the imagery of the flourishing tree.
The blessed person and the wicked are contrasted. The blessed person delights in the word of God, reflecting on it throughout the day and night. Thoughts of scripture guide this person, rather than the considerations of the world.
The tree described in Psalm 1 flourishes by streams of water. Its leaves never wither.
Recently we hiked in where rushing water flowed through tree-lined banks.
Because of the nearness of the water source, the trees are often the healthiest. Their roots grow deep. This is the picture of the blessed person, who steadily takes in nourishment from the Lord.
← The roots of this tree, spread wide and deep, anchoring it near a lake.
But if the roots only go wide and are shallow, the tree is not secure and can topple in a storm. →
Shallow roots will hold for a season, but will eventually give way to excessive rain or rising water.
Psalm 1 encourages us to send our roots deep into the word of God.
Meditation is more than reading words; it implies the action of chewing and digesting the meaning of the words, pondering them and applying their wisdom to life.
Maybe you’re like me, having worries or doubts taking up residence in my mind. When I dwell on those, I get negative, fearful mindset. “What ifs” can take over. Those thoughts spread shallow roots. Although they can easily be pulled up, they grow fast.
When I choose to meditate on the Word of God, the secure roots of faith go deep, calming my anxious thoughts. The deeper roots stabilize my heart, guiding me with the wisdom of scripture.
Psalm 1 offers the hope of fruitfulness.
The phrase “yields fruit in season” reminds me that there is a fruit bearing season and a harvest. There are times when we wait and hope for answers to prayer, like waiting for an orchard to produce fruit at the proper time. The trees are still nourished although the fruit is yet to ripen. For the believer, the times of waiting can be seasons of abiding in Christ. Jesus taught in John 15:4-5:
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
When I need a dose of encouragement and hope to draw near to God, I turn to Psalm 1.
Once again I’m reminded to meditate and apply its truths while I wait for God to produce his fruit in my life.
How do you grow deeper in the Word of God?