Recently I’ve been thinking that having access and love from the only Creator and Author of it all ought to make you smile a little.
Seems like there should be a little bit of joy in the hearts of His saints. We have more cause for happiness than anyone on earth.
A lot of times Christians make God out to be this enemy of joy; this miserable magic boss in the sky who is out to keep us from anything that might bring pleasure.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Psalm 16. Psalm 16 is all about how happy and joyful we get to be because of God.
Joy doesn’t always equal smiley faces and laughter. But, gosh – it does equal that SOMEtimes.
We can’t be this people group with a handle on the greatest news ever insisting we’re joyful while we walk around like folks on death row.
And maybe part of the reason we’re so miserable is because we don’t believe the promises held out to us.
Here are some promises in Psalm 16 that get to the heart of happiness:
1. He promises that idolatry will make us sad. I started thinking on Saturday that maybe part of why I’m not super happy right now is because the Bible is true and promises like the one below are reality:
Psalm 16:4, The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply
God calls us to worship Him alone. He doesn’t do that because He’s trying to sabotage our joy, He does it because He’s jealous for our joy. Running after false gods – finding your security in anything but Him – only leads to sadness. His commands are not burdensome, they are keys to happiness.
2. He promises that things will work out great for us. For those who are in Christ, this life is written beautifully. Things are working out great for you. If you can’t see it yet, you will one day; walk by faith.
Psalm 16: 6, The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
3. He promises that He will not abandon us. A few verses later David says his heart is filled with joy because:
Psalm 16:10, For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
David says his heart is glad because of that promise. He says his whole being rejoices.
When did the gospel stop being good news to us? When did it just start being a neat idea instead of a life-giving breath of joy? When did it stop being miraculous and start being assumed?
Here’s a question: when was the last time the glory of the gospel filled your heart with joy and made your whole being rejoice?
4. He promises to teach us the key to joy. God makes known to us through His Word the way to walk that will bring us the deepest joy. He made us. He knows what makes us work. He made us for the greatest pleasure and deepest joy, and His word is written – not to keep us from that – but to lead us to it.
Psalm 16:11, You make known to me the path of life
5. He promises that with we will find the deepest joy and eternal pleasure with Him.
Psalm 16:11, in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Think of the most joy you’ve had in life. That was just a tiny fraction of the capacity you have for joy. Imagine pleasure that lasted a life time. That is just a tiny fraction of the duration of the pleasure we’ll experience with God.
I don’t know what all this means. I know that I want my life to be a picture of this Psalm. I want people to know the kindness and sweetness of God by watching the deep joy with which I embrace His promises.
Praying for faith right now.