This life abounds with blessings if we only have eyes to see. All people, regardless of their beliefs, enjoy many good gifts from the gracious Hand of God, The Creator. All good things come from the Father (James 1:17).
Yet, most of the world drinks from His gracious Hand without acknowledging the One Who made it all. Many people have developed a heart of gratitude…but without gratitude toward God. How can one be thankful without being thankful to Someone? It is a strange culture that teaches one should be thankful but fails to teach Who they should be thankful to.
However, these gifts should not simply fill us with gratitude toward God for the pleasure they give us. These gifts should always point us to the Giver Himself. The taste of a delicious fruit should lead you to praise the Creator, and to a greater desire for HIM. The glowing sunset that leaves you almost breathless should leave you in awe of your Creator, and with a longing for Him. Love for another person that flows joyfully in your heart should cause your love for God to overflow and your joy in Him to increase. The gifts never fully satisfy because they are meant to leave us with a desire for soemthing more — for Him.
If the gifts fail to create a deep longing for God, we have missed the main point of the gifts.
Many people have made the decision to “choose joy” even in difficult circumstances because they have learned the secret that we can control and choose our attitude. Feelings come uninvited but an attitude is developed by choice. But they have failed to learn the deeper secret…that the deepest joy and the only lasting joy is found in King Jesus. then I choose Him, I can find the deepest joy because I have chosen the Source of joy. God is completely and utterly joyful, and we can share in His joy.
So, how do we come to a deeper joy in The King and maintain that joy in Him through all kinds of days – good, exciting, difficult, troubled, heartbreaking — through all the ups and downs of life? I think there are three keys that are fundamental to finding and to maintaining joy in The King.
The first key is: Desire for God. We will not find joy in someone we do not yearn to be with or to know more deeply.
” My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you”…(Isaiah 26:9a)
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? ” (Psalm 42:1-2)
Psalm 45 presents a beautiful picture of The King. He is fairer than the children of men, and grace flows from His lips (Psalm 45:2)
He is mighty in His glory and power. He is noble in power but without pride. He is good and true. His arrows defeat the enemies of the King. He is a good and victorious king. (Psalm 45:3-5)
His throne is an everlasting throne, and He rules with honor (Psalm 45:6) The King loves righteousness. Therefore, God has anointed Him with the oil of gladness above all the other kings (Psalm 45: 7)
His beauty and goodness are seen even in His clothing. ” Your robes are full of the smell of all sorts of perfumes and spices; music from the king’s ivory houses has made you glad” (Psalm 45:8)
The question I must answer: Do I truly yearn for God?
The second key is: Awe….standing in awe of God.
Some time back I saw a Facebook post about an “awesome’ dessert. Our culture throws the word ‘awesome’ around on a regular basis. But things are not awesome. People are not really awesome. Deity is the only true awesome.
Take time to consider the works of His Hand. Read Isiah 40 on a regular basis. Mediate upon His Greatness. Go outside. Look around you at the beauty His Hand created — the beauty of the clouds in the day, and the beauty of the stars at night.
Stand in Awe of Jehovah the King.
“Let all the world fear the LORD; let all the of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalm 33:8)
The third key is: Delight in the King
Yearning for God and standing in awe of Him will lead one to delight in Him. We cannot find joy in someone we do not delight in.
Do you delight in Him? We find delight in all kinds of trivial pursuits and things but do we find our greatest delight in this glorious King? Should it not thrill us and fill us with delight to know that the God Who created all things, who has all power and all wisdom, and all knowledge should love us and want us to share in His glory? How can we not take delight in God, in knowing He is our Father and King, our Protector and Gracious Redeemer? What an awesome and wonderful God. What a wonder that He created us so that we could know Him!
Oh what a delight it will be to look upon this glorious King! What an awe it will be to stand in His presence!
Do you yearn for Him and for His return?
May we determine that each day we will delight in Him, stand in awe of Him, and yearn for Him.
How beautiful, how beautiful,
The sight of Thee must be,
Thine endless wisdom, boundless power,
And awful purity!
Only to sit and think of God,
Oh, what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the name,
Earth has no higher bliss.
What rapture it will be,
Prostrate before Thy throne to lie,
And gaze and gaze on Thee! *
*from a hymn by Faber