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Sermon #5226

Man's Search for Happiness

A Sermon on Man's Search for Happiness from Psalm 1:1-2


Psalms 1:1-2 ESV KJV
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Man’s search for happiness may seem like an impossible quest amidst this often tragic life. His pursuit only leaves him hopeless and in despair but Scripture has the answers. In this sermon on Psalm 1:1–2 titled “Man’s Search for Happiness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones leads through the first two verses in Psalm 1, and explains how God reveals His prescription for true peace and lasting joy. Far beyond the temporal emotion of happiness, there is a lasting joy that characterizes the life of one who follows God's prescribed plan. By contrasting the two alternatives and discussing the theory and the practice (both the negative and the positive), one discovers the biblical view—that humanity always seeks happiness in the wrong place, and that there is no true happiness apart from God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Happiness is possible according to the Bible. This is surprising given the state of the world.
  2. Many despair of finding happiness or become cynical. The Bible offers an answer.
  3. Happiness does not depend on circumstances according to the Bible.
  4. Happiness should not be sought as an end in itself. It is a byproduct of seeking God and righteousness.
  5. Happiness depends on our relationship to God and what we are, not what happens to us.
  6. The Bible starts with negatives to be realistic, show the evil in the world, diagnose the problem, show God's way is different, and require repentance.
  7. We must not walk in the counsel of the ungodly who trust in themselves, not God.
  8. We must not stand in the way of sinners who live for fleshly indulgence.
  9. We must not sit in the seat of scoffers who scorn all that is good and holy.
  10. There is a progression from walking to standing to sitting, showing sin's increasing grip and paralysis.
  11. The happy man delights in God's law and meditates on it day and night.
  12. The psalmist exclaims "Oh, the blessedness!" of forgiveness, life in Christ, peace, joy, abundance.
  13. We cannot make ourselves enjoy God's law or become righteous by willpower. We need new life in Christ.
  14. We must repent, believe the gospel, and receive new life from Christ to become happy in God.

Old Testament

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.