|By Hal Lindsey|
The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins with the primary question of human existence. “What is the chief end of man?” And then comes the glorious answer. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Life presents challenges that are no fun. We all experience stress, grief, and fatigue. In Gethsemane, the Lord knew He was about to go through the long night of trials, betrayals, and beatings that would lead to His crucifixion and death. He entered a time of extraordinary stress. Luke 22:44 says, “Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
But the story of Jesus does not end in His death. It continues today at the right hand of God the Father. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to look at Jesus as our example. “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Things happen in life. We experience grief. But for those who are in Christ, even the deepest sorrows do not last. Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”
Joy awaits us in heaven, but it can be ours here as well. In fact, one of the best ways to glorify God now is to enjoy Him now. Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 144:15 says, “How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!”
Whatever we face, Romans 8:31 remains true. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song.”
He is our song! This speaks to our delight in Him. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Why rejoice? Because Christ the Lord came into the world, and He’s coming again. Scary circumstances do not have to scare us. And hope pervades even our worst grief.
Psalm 36:7-9 says, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.”
Think about the phrase, “River of Your delights.” C. S. Lewis called it, “The delight that made David dance.”
Are you troubled or tired? Are you heartsick over something that has happened to you, to someone dear to you, or to the nation you love? That’s okay. God is with you in your pain. But for the Christian, pain carries an expiration date.
And even during the pain — including the worst of the grief, sorrow, or sadness — the river of His delights continues to flow. You don’t have to wait for heaven to experience it. You can go to that river right now. You, too, can know the “delight that made David dance.”