What is your joy and delight in life? A good way to know is to see how you respond to trials.
The Psalmist’s Song in the Dark
The Psalmist was in a time of darkness and desolation. His soul is downcast. He’s been crying out to God, waiting for him to rescue him from deceitful and wicked people. He’s been waiting and waiting for God to answer. His grief knows no comfort. The oppression won’t end.
He feels rejected by the Lord. He’s lost in the dark and he doesn’t know what do do or where to go.
So he strums his harp and sings to the Lord, “You are my joy and my delight.”
Really. Read Psalm 43. Better yet pray Psalm 43. The Psalmist is oppressed by mean people, hasn’t been delivered by God, and feels rejected by God yet he sings his praise to God, “You are my joy and my delight.” (Psalm 43:4)
Meditating and praying Psalm 43 I wrote a little prayer poem one day. I wrote it beside a picture I drew of a mountain on a dark night. There is a path winding up the mountain that leads to a lighted cross on top of the mountain. All is dark except the cross. As I prayed I imagined myself walking with Jesus, my only source of Light:
Jesus, you light my path in the dark and bring me to your holy mountain.
I follow you to the altar of God and bring my offering.
Jesus, you are my joy and my delight!
Delight Yourself in the Lord
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Do you do that in your trials? Do I? Do we say to the Lord, “You are my joy and my delight!” Maybe we worry, complain, or get busy trying to make things better for ourselves.
I wish I could say that I always praise God when I experience hardships and distresses. Sometimes I do. Praying the Psalms, like Psalm 43, in anticipation of trials to come as helped me to rejoice in the Lord and being a part of his kingdom while going through difficult times.
Based on our past experiences we all know what kinds of difficulties are likely to come our way. We’re wise to Watch and Pray with Jesus by anticipating these trials while using words of Scripture that help us to hold onto Jesus.
Let’s try this now. Imagine yourself in a trial or a time of darkness…
In your mind see yourself sit down beside the Psalmist as he plays his harp and sings to the Lord. Pray his words in Psalm 43. Or try my prayer that’s of the same spirit:
Lord Jesus, you are my joy and my delight. Even if my situation doesn’t turn around, even if you don’t answer my prayer like I want you to, I rejoice that I’m in relationship with you and you love me. I delight to know you. I have all that I need in you Jesus. You are so wonderful I just want to share you with others!