“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 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 that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalms 1:1-3
Last night, my four-year-old was having night terrors. He was deeply troubled. Nothing would console him. His heart was calmed only by his abiding in my presence for the rest of the night. His happy place was by momma’s side. What is your happy place? Everyone longs for happiness. It’s not sinful to seek joy as long as we search for it not from the wickedness of the world. God is glorified by our delight of Him. Inexhaustible joy is found by abiding in God Himself. And we find Him in His Word. God is best seen in the person of Jesus Christ. He is revealed throughout the pages of Scripture. His person, words, and works are revealed in the Bible. One of God’s attributes is that He is blessed. In His presence is fullness of joy (Ps16:11), because it’s who He is (Eph 1:3). If we spend time with Jesus in God’s Word, we will be like him. It doesn’t mean we won’t suffer. Sometimes the times of our deepest sorrows are also the moments of most intimate communion with God, and as a result—the times of richest joy. “The God-centered life draws its spiritual vitality from God’s Word, which is compared to streams… The godly sets down deep roots into a reservoir which will never run dry—one that refreshes, revives, renews, cleanses, and satisfies those who draw upon it (John 15:3, Eph 5:26)” (Spurgeon)
Isn’t it amazing that our creator God would subject Himself to pain and suffering when He is deserving of all glory, majesty, and honor!? He didn’t need us in heaven in order to make it blissful. “He was perfectly blessed in Himself before the first creature was called into being.” (Arthur W. Pink.) He chose to create us to reflect His image and to enjoy Him forever. We sinned. Yet, He did not give us what we deserve. God still chose to lavish His blessings on us. He made a redemptive way back by sending His own son to suffer in our place that by faith, in Christ, we would be given a share of eternal joy with Him. May we seek God’s grace to order all our steps to follow steady after the LORD and find unending blessedness by His side among those who also walk in His way of righteousness. “When indwelt by the living Word, the leaf of the righteous does not wither, meaning all that he does will have eternal value and lasting results.” (Dr. Lawson)
Heavenly Father, you are our joy when our hearts ache with longing for more… Your blessings are imperishable and unending. In your Word is found Christ—the sure Hope that anchors our souls in this tragic, turbulent world. May we not follow after the sin that makes a wreck of our lives and tosses our faith about, but be steadfast in our pursuit of love (1 Cor14:1) through your Word. In the blessed name of Jesus.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” 1 Pe 1:12
The dread of waiting drives some of us to conspire to avoid traffic, lines, and crowds. Most of us desire to grow in our patience, yet not many of us would be willing to wait to gain it. The prophets of old desired to see the Messiah but they had to go to the place of waiting to behold the glory of His coming. By God’s grace, He revealed to them as they searched the Scriptures diligently, they would not be the ones to welcome Christ, but a coming generation would be blessed to identify Him in His sufferings. They selflessly served others by the enlightening of the Holy Spirit. They point us to the cross. “Ancient prophets, itinerant preachers, and exalted angels have for ages stood in service to this salvation that has been the joyful business of God’s servants over the centuries.” (David Helm)
The glory and wonder of the cross are found at the incomprehensible revelation that the God of the universe would have to suffer to make a once-for-all atonement that animal sacrifices could not cover. Angles still long to behold the mystery of the gospel. It baffled their minds to understand such a wonderfully great salvation to undeserving rebels like us. It ought to captivate our minds too and lead us prostrate before the cross in humble adoration of crucified King. “Knowing this, I hope you have a surge of spiritual fortitude to remain faithful wherever God has placed you. Hearts were made to rise in worship. And looking ahead, our minds are to be made ready for action.” (David Helm)