Fullness of Joy
Read Psalm 16:5-11 (ESV)
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Are God’s blessings available to us only after we die, or do we experience many of God’s blessings in this life as well?
So, you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Now what? Do Christians just sit around and wait to die so they can be with Jesus? Of course not! We can enjoy the blessings of a relationship with God right now.
David opened this Psalm saying, “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you’” (Psalm 16:1-2). David knew that it was God who kept him safe. He knew that every blessing he was given was from God and God alone. Even though David experienced many trials, he found peace and security in his relationship with his Lord. He knew the Lord had been good to him. He knew he had been blessed and he thanked God for His provision.
David also praised God for His counsel and instruction. David didn’t have to wander and stumble his way through life. God was his guide. David knew that if he followed God’s instruction, he could live wisely and avoid many of the heartaches that result from foolish, ungodly living. And when he sinned, Psalm 51 indicates that David knew God would forgive him when he repented. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). He knew he could cry out to God for mercy and that he would receive it.
David praised the Lord for the hope of eternal life. He was at peace because he knew God would not abandon him to the grave. But David also experienced a deep, abiding joy in his earthly life as well because he walked closely with the Lord. David communicated with God through prayer, praise, worship, and laments. His life was certainly not always easy and he definitely made some big mistakes. But he enjoyed an intimate relationship with the God of the universe here on earth.
Friend, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a relationship with the living God. You don’t have to wait to enjoy His presence. Yes, being with Him in eternity will far surpass our experience here. But He can be your joy, your hope, your peace, your provider, and your refuge right now. You can communicate with God through prayer. You can grow in your understanding of who He is through His Word and from Him receive wisdom, instruction, and discernment. A relationship with Jesus Christ is so much more than a ticket to heaven. It’s walking on the path of life in the presence of the Lord where there is fullness of joy from here to eternity.
Jesus, if all you offered was forgiveness of sin and the hope of eternal life, that would have been more than I deserved. And yet, in Your great lovingkindness You have blessed me abundantly in my life right now as well. Even when I go through trials and hardships, I know that You are with me. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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