The words of the psalmist are forthright and unmistakable: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Clearly, joy is essential to our Christian experience and relationship to God. So here are ten things to keep in mind when you think about joy and your delight in God.
1. The command is not that we have joy, but that we have joy or delight in God.
David doesn’t say, “Delight yourself.” That would be an endorsement of secular, self-indulgent hedonism. Hedonism as it is found in the world at large is a philosophy of life and decision-making which says that choices should be made based solely on their capacity to bring us the greatest degree of personal pleasure. Hedonism, then, is the pursuit of pleasure as an end in itself. But David's counsel is that we delight ourselves in God!
Our joy is not in the experience of joy. Our joy is in who God is: his beauty, majesty, love, grace, power, promises, and all that he has revealed himself to be for us in Jesus. We do not use God as a means to attain joy. God is not the shovel by which we dig for treasure. God is the treasure. Joy in him is the goal.
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash/Brooke Cagle