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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
208 pages
Mar 2007
Harvest House Publishers

Be My Refuge, Lord

by Bob & Emilie Barnes

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Walking Upright in the Lord

    Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. PSALM 1:1-3 NIV

One of a person’s deepest quests in life is for happiness or the key to being happy. Everywhere we look, people are searching for happiness through the jobs they have, the homes they live in, the toys they play with, the food they eat, and the vacations they take. But to their amazement, when they finally arrive at what they had wanted, they often find that happiness has moved and left no forwarding address.

A poet once said, “Happiness is much more equally divided than some of us imagine. One man shall possess most of the materials but little of the thing; another man possesses much of the thing but very few of the materials.”

This tension is one of life’s greatest struggles: How do we balance between things and happiness? In today’s passage, we concentrate on three areas concerning happiness:

    1.      What to avoid

    2.      What to concentrate on

    3.      What a happy person is like

What to Avoid

David warns us not to take advice from the wrong people. Paul in Romans 3:4 states, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” It is important that we seek wise counsel. We cannot be conformed to the world system. Magazines, television, newspapers, and the Internet are not where we gain wisdom.

The bottom line is to have quality friends—friends who have strong character qualities and can provide wisdom in their speech.

What to Concentrate On

We have become so accustomed to the media’s fast pace and dissemination of information that we desire all episodes of life to be narrowed down to a few minutes, if not just a few seconds. We lose concentration and patience when a person or situation takes too long.

To counter our lack of concentration, we must learn or relearn to delight and meditate. We go to Scripture with delight, but once we close the Bible and go about our day, do we lose its joy? If we would approach Scripture each day with the intent to hold on to its wisdom and teachings and take them with us into our days, we would see wonderful changes in our attitudes and lives. Psalm 1:2 says we are to delight in the law of the Lord and to meditate on His law day and night.

What a Happy Person Is Like

David describes a blessed person to be like a tree planted by streams of water. We can find happiness when we are grounded near the ever-present source of nourishment and wisdom: God and His Word. A happy person absorbs this refreshment and becomes someone who yields much fruit as he or she works, develops relationships, and serves the Lord. This person does not lose wisdom and passion during trials, but rather embraces God’s abundance and prospers.


Father God, I want to be happy in the Lord. I desire to have a balance between the things of this life and a desire to be anchored to You by planting my trees by the streams of water so that I can yield fruit in season. Let me avoid those things I should avoid and concentrate on the things I should concentrate on. Amen.


Major on the major and minor on the minor.


I know Christ dwells within me all the time, guiding me and inspiring me whenever I do or say anything. A light of which I caught no glimmer before comes to me at the very moment when it is needed.