If you asked a thousand people if they wanted to experience “joy” in their lives, I have to believe that you would get a thousand positive answers. When you dig deep down into the motivations of our hearts we see that we are motivated by a desire to experience “joy.”
With that in mind, let’s reflect for just a moment on Psalm 4. David writes:
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Did you catch that? “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” I couldn’t help being reminded of a couple of things when I read this verse earlier this week. First, ultimate joy comes from intimacy with God. True joy is not based upon our circumstances. It comes from the truth that we can know and be known by the creator of the universe…the One who holds the world in His hands. When I, by faith, trust in what Christ has done for me while dead in my sins, (namely His death, burial, and resurrection) I experience that which before was never possible…true joy.
Secondly, I was reminded of how much greater intimacy with Christ is than anything else in this world. David reminds us that the joy God gives us is far greater than the accumulation of worldly things. David is not saying that wine and grain are bad. He is simply saying that these things will never satisfy! They will never be able to compare to the joy that comes from God through Jesus Christ His Son. When their is intimacy with Christ we can have joy in times of abundance and in seasons of loss.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift!