A Formula for a Good Life

A Formula for a Good Life

You’ve surely heard or seen them. Possibly in your Facebook feed. At least at the grocery checkout. 5 Secret to Success. 10 Steps to Personal Wealth. 3 Sure-Fire Ways to Win Your Man (or Woman). They go on and on. After a while even some sermon titles begin to sound like that. 5 Laws of Leadership. 4 Stages to Christian Growth. So it would be easy to see A Formula for a Good Life in the same vein. You could. I might.

Besides that, each of us has experienced the ‘Duh Factor.’ We’ve heard someone state the obvious. Somehow, this feels like that as well.

However, truth is truth, no matter how many times we’ve heard it. And, the reality exists, even if the catchy title sounds a bit like a trite get-rich concoction.

One day I was reading in Psalm 37, when I saw it. I can’t say whether I’ve heard it in a sermon before or not, but in these days and these times, I believe these are some things that we need to grasp, hold onto, and strive for.

The Truths of Our Formula for a Good Life

“Trust in the LORD and do good.” (Psalm 37:3) Even if we only focused on the “do good” part, I think we would begin to find life more fulfilling. But it is magnified so much more when we first trust in the Lord. In this trust is the sense of laying ourselves completely in God’s hands. Reliance and faith might express some aspects of this trust. It is to have hope and great confidence in a God who loves and cares for us.

Second in this formula for a good life, is “delight yourself in the LORD.” (Psalm 37:4) In this, there seems to be the sense of the delight that a husband and wife who are deeply in love will have in each other. We are called to deepen not only our trust, but also our relationship with the Lord. Then, He gives the promise that He will give us the desires of our heart.

I once co-wrote a song with a friend whose lyrics reflect concepts from this text. In this verse my friend saw that God gives so richly because in cultivating this delight in the Lord, His desires became our desires. No longer are they selfish, but they are the same things that God Himself wants.

Third, He calls us to “Commit your way to the LORD.” (Psalm 37:5) The word translated here as “commit” is actually the word “roll.” In the Old Testament scriptures, it is used several times to roll a stone. Here we are called to roll our way, our life, over onto the LORD. It is no longer ours to worry over. Now, it’s in His hands. And to reiterate this, the passage repeats that we are to “trust also in Him.”

If we place ourselves completely in His hands, He will bring out right living (“righteousness”) from within us as if it was the light of day. Then, the verdict of our lives, “our judgement” will shine like the sun at noon. Jesus put it this way, “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NASB)

Fourth in this scriptural list, this formula for a good life, we see “rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7) Stop! Be silent! Be still! And, dance before the LORD. Yes, that one caught me by surprise when I looked it up. I wasn’t expecting “twist” and “whirl” to be the language behind the words “wait patiently.” But, if we think in terms of the following words to not be upset or angry because of those who carry out their evil ways and seem to prosper. Imagine instead that you are standing before your loving God. You become quiet and still and in the peace of the moment, you begin to dance before Him simply for His pleasure and out of your love for Him. Don’t be angry, it leads to evil. Be quiet and dance for love of your Savior.

The truth is that it’s not really so much a formula for a good life. It’s the teaching of God’s Word. And, when we obey God our lives and our witness will be greatly improved.

Review the Truths We’ve Discovered

  • Trust in the LORD and do good.
  • Delight yourself in the LORD.
  • Commit your way to the LORD.
  • Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.

These aren’t the only things that can lead God’s people to have a good life. A relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ is the essential starting point. But here we have important truths from God’s Word about living in relationship with Him. In the process, we find HIs blessing and our impact on the people around us is enhanced. It can truly be “a good life!”

One of My Favorite Hymns

  1. Simply trusting ev’ry day,
    Trusting thro’ a stormy way;
    Even when my faith is small,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  1. Brightly does His Spirit shine
    Into this poor heart of mine;
    While He leads I cannot fall;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  1. Singing if my way is clear,
    Praying if the path be drear;
    If in danger for Him call;
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  1. Trusting Him while life shall last,
    Trusting Him till earth be past;
    Till within the jasper wall,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain:
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

“Simply Trusting Every Day” by Edgar Page (1876)
Read more about this hymn at hymnary.org.

Blessings,
Richard

2 thoughts on “A Formula for a Good Life”

  1. Shirley Ann Allen

    Richard, your comments are so good and often so appropriate to what I need at the time of reading them. I just returned from seniorcize, a exercise class for old people. We share lots of conversation while we do the easy bends and stretches that keep us from being too feeble. This morning one of the ladies who must have had a very busy weekend said she couldn’t wait to get home to rest. An older man replied to her ” you’d be better off if you rested in the Lord” A bit of battering evolved and I kept out of it, but your message “hit the nail on the head”. Your hymn selections are also so fitting. Thanks for the blessing to me today, and blessings back to you. Shirley

    1. Shirley, thank you! As I write I know that it has spoken to me and I can only hope that God is able to use it to speak to others. Thank you for your blessings! Please feel free to share these posts with others that you know.

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