“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4, NLT).
Is it hard for you to delight in the Lord—to experience His joy? “Delight in the Lord,” the psalmist declared, “and He will give you your heart’s desire!” Do you realize that God delights in you (Psalm 149:4)? Perhaps you feel abandoned. Others might abandon you, but God will never forsake you. If you are someone who believes God doesn’t listen or answer your cry for help, then you need to absorb the truth that He delights in you. He takes joy in you. He delights in you because you are His creation, and He died for you. That is the greatest love. That kind of love does not abandon. But we sometimes abandon that love by our thoughts and actions. Often we judge His love for us through the eyes of our own sin or through the pain of our own circumstance.
You cannot experience the delight of the Lord if you have something in your life that is blocking it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that you have in your life that needs to be forgiven. Ask Him to reveal not only what you may have done, but the real motive of your heart. Only listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and never listen to the enemy who will condemn you. There is always hope in Christ's conviction, but only despair in the lying condemnation of the enemy. Allow Christ's conviction to change your heart, and humble yourself in His presence. “In my distress I prayed to the Lord,” the psalmist wrote, “and the Lord answered me and set me free:” (Psalm 118:5, NLT). When you allow Him to change your heart, He will lift you from the darkest despair and set you free from sin’s power to control your life.
You cannot experience the delight of the Lord if some event or problem is so powerful that it keeps you from experiencing God's love and peace. You don't feel loved if you feel God has abandoned you. That very feeling of abandonment can bring anger and bitterness toward God, and then anger toward yourself for being angry at Him. Tell God you are sorry for your anger toward him, and forgive yourself for your anger toward you. Life happens. Events happen. Problems come. Trials are inevitable. God has not abandoned you. His power is greater in your life than that of any event. To learn His lesson and grow in His grace, humble yourself and yield control to Him.
“The Lord delights in his people,” the psalmist wrote. “He crowns the humble with victory” (Psalm 149:4, NLT). Humbly lay your life at His feet. Draw close to Him in prayer and purpose. When you humble yourself before the Lord and give up anything in your life that blocks His presence, you invite His power into your life. When you allow the trials of life to spiritually grow you into His beautiful creation, you invite His victory. Instead of defeating you, those trials inspire you to trust Him more. “Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:7, NLT). His power is best understood in humility. When He completely owns your heart, pride has no power. In letting go you have given Him permission to empower your life. The desires of your heart are no longer your own. They are His. You have found your delight in Him.
Lynn Hampton Lacher