Two well-known people—John Wesley and Mark Twain—vividly exemplify the contrast between the godly and ungodly as portrayed in Psalm 1. When Wesley, who had been joyous, energetic, and effective even in his 88th year, was dying, he suddenly sat up, looked at the people weeping at his bedside, and said, “Best of all, God is with us.”
Mark Twain, morose and weary of life well before he died at 75, wrote, “A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle for bread; they squabble and scold and fight; . . . age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; . . . those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. . . . [Release] comes at last—the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them—and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence; . . . a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.”
If we trust God and live for Him, we will—like Wesley—resemble stately trees that are fruitful through all time and eternity! We will experience joy and peace even in difficult times. If we reject God, though, our lives will resemble windblown chaff, forever empty and unsatisfying. The options are clear. It is either faith and everlasting joy, or unbelief and eternal regret. What will it be for you?
Fill up each hour with what will last;
Buy up the moments as they go;
The life above, when this is past,
Is the ripe fruit of life below. —Bonar
He who puts God first will have joy that lasts.