May 08, 2023

The Source of Joy

Psalm 37:1-11

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

—  Psalm 37:4

The desire to have joy and be happy is universal. It is one of the deepest desires of the human heart. But happiness often seems elusive. Surprisingly our Bible passage today offers the hope of happiness, joy, and peace in all times, places, and situations. The psalmist says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

The question, then, is “How do we ‘take delight in the Lord’?” First of all, we need a right relationship with God—and this is offered freely to us through faith in Jesus. And then we can focus on the full life we are called to in Christ (John 10:10; 15:10-17; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 6:27-36) and how we can begin living that way here and now.

Thinking highly of God the Father, who loves us and sent his Son to save us while we were still his enemies is a start (Romans 5:8-11). Focusing on the Savior, who redeemed us and has prepared the way for us to spend eternity with him and each other in perfect joy, is also crucial. And walking with the Spirit, who guides and comforts us each day, will lead to lasting joy, happiness, and contentment.

Some things in this world bring fleeting joy. But all those things break down, wear out, get stolen, rust, burn up, or betray us and ultimately let us down. When we “take delight in the Lord,” however, the Spirit produces the lasting fruit of joy in our lives.

Giver of every good gift, we thank you for the promise of giving us the desires of our hearts when we delight in you! Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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