“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5 NIV
Do you know the translation of the original Hebrew word for Blessed? אֶשֶׁר ʼesher, eh’-sher; from H833; happiness; only in masculine plural construction as interjection, how happy!:—blessed, happy. It doesn’t mean just happy. It means “how happy!” Did you catch that? How happy are you right now? Want to learn the secret to “how happy!”? Happy are those whose strength is the LORD, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. We can uncover a few clues to happiness in this verse.
First, what is your source of strength? When I rely on my own strength I end up exhausted and only partially successful, if at all, on a good day. I am happy at first and frustrated at the end. God invites us many times through the Bible to rely on His strength and not our own. In Isaiah 30:15 He says “In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” He is telling us that if we return our attention to Him and rest from our own ineffective striving we will be saved from ourselves and to His perfect plan for our lives. We are invited to release our cares in his presence and receive His strength that we can confidently trust will sustain us. This is a much better formula for life.
Happiness is: Not relying on your own strength, and instead, relying on the strength of the One greater than you. Not holding onto the known for fear of the unknown, and instead, deciding to set your heart on pilgrimage.
God will never force you to go on the great adventure of your life with Him. The invitation is there. You have to decide if you will accept it.
This verse has recently changed my life. Stress was trying to consume me and showing up all over my body. I kept running from the reality of my condition. I was “too busy” to address the core issue. I was working myself to death. Do you feel like you can’t stop pushing in your own strength? If you do, do you fear your life will fall apart? You will let others down? Or worse, you will face absolute failure?
I know these fears and I’m here to encourage you with my story. I had a dream career for 22 years and sensed God inviting me to let go of it and trust Him for something new, and completely unknown. But LORD, I would look insane! Pride held me back and I almost missed the blessings God had arranged for me on the other side. The first day I was “on my own” I walked into the largest career blessing of my life. The timing was prearranged by the very hand of God and I almost missed it because I had not decided to set my heart on pilgrimage.
The heart of Sacred Story is women encouraging women. This ministry exists to encourage you as you face various chapters of life to know that the Lord is the faithful Author of your life. He can come through for you no matter what you are facing with purpose and with peace. He is the secret to my happiness. Will you let him be the secret to yours?
With a happy heart,