Delight in God!
"Delight yourself in the Lord — and He will give you the desires of your heart!" Psalm 37:4
Sin has taken our attention off of God —
and fixed it upon ourselves, or the things around us.
Grace calls our attention off of everything else — to fix it upon God. It directs us to . . .
look to the Lord,
come to the Lord,
trust in the Lord,
wait on the Lord,
hope in the Lord, and
even delight in the Lord.
"Delight yourself in the Lord." Take delight — not in health, or wealth, or position, or character, or friends, or in anything that is changeable — but in the unchangeable Lord. Delight yourself in His glorious character — as gracious, merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
Delight yourself in Him, as . . .
the father of the fatherless,
the friend of the friendless,
the hope of the wretched,
and the Savior of the lost.
Delight yourself in His gracious covenant, which .
anticipates your needs,
provides for your needs,
limits your trials, and
provides strength for the day, as every day's work requires.
Delight yourself in His paternal relation. He is
not only your God — but your Father!
He cares for you, with a father's care!
He loves you, with a father's love!
He pities you, with a father's pity!
He will receive you to Heaven, as to your father's house!
Delight yourself in his precious promises. They
are but drops from His ocean of love! They are intended to . . .
show His love,
display His grace,
manifest His care,
draw out your confidence,
banish your fear, and
assure you of all necessary supplies.
Delight yourself in his special providence. A
providence that . . .
marks your steps,
directs your paths,
measures your troubles,
bounds the rage of your enemies,
numbers the very hairs of your head, and
makes all things work together for your good!
God in His providence, superintends all your affairs, even the most minute — so that nothing can happen to you by 'chance', or inadvertently do you harm!
"Delight yourself in the Lord." This is more than
. . .
hope in the Lord, or
believe in the Lord, or
wait on the Lord, or
love the Lord, or even
rejoice in the Lord.
To delight is to make God your joy, your exceeding joy, your highest pleasure. Peter speaks of "rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory!" and David says, "I would go unto God, unto God my exceeding joy!" Here are our patterns.
But if we would delight ourselves in the Lord, then . . .
we must often and devoutly read what He has said of himself in his word;
we must seriously and prayerfully think over it;
we must realize its truth and importance;
we must trust in his faithfulness and love;
we must walk with him in familiar and holy fellowship; and
we must resign ourselves and all we have to him to be used by him, and disposed of just as he sees fit.
THE INDUCEMENT. "Delight yourself in the Lord — and he will give you the desires of your heart!" If we delight ourselves in the Lord — then our principal and ruling desire will be his glory. Our hearts' daily cry will be, "Let the Lord be glorified!" We shall drink into his holy mind, and becoming like-minded with him — thus we shall desire only those things that please him. Our subordinate desires will be generated by his grace, and be regulated by his holy word. He will therefore gratify us, by giving what we wish, or by working what we desire. He will satisfy us, by bringing our minds into unison with his, so that with Jesus we shall say, "Not my will — but may yours be done."
He will delight us, either by giving us what we ask for — or some sweet manifestation of his love and grace instead. What we desire, or something better — he will give us, if we delight ourselves in him.
The way to be happy then — is to delight in God. To ensure our own way — is to seek the Lord's. God's will is best and wisest — ours therefore must be subordinate.
Delight in creatures only produces disappointment,
dissatisfaction, and discomfort; but delight in God ensures
satisfaction, comfort, and certainty. To delight in God, is only to prefer .
the ever-flowing fountain — to the shallow stream;
the glorious sun — to the dim candle!
We have never made God our object and our end — without being blessed. We have never preferred the creature — without smarting for it.
Delight in God — is one of the elements of the
happiness of Heaven; and is at once the joy and dignity of our ransomed
nature. Delight in creatures — is a great cause of the misery and
unhappiness of earth; and proves that . . .
our nature is fallen,
our hearts are corrupt, and
our understandings are darkened.
Gracious Lord, teach us to delight . . .
in you, in your law,
in your people,
in your ways,
in approaching to you,
in doing your will,
in suffering your pleasure —
that in any way and every way we may promote your glory!
O Lord, I would delight in you,
And on your care depend;
To you in every trouble flee,
My best, my only friend!
When all created streams are dried,
Your fullness is the same;
May I with this be satisfied,
And glory in your name!
No good in creatures can be found
But may be found in thee;
I must have all things, and abound,
While God is God to me.