“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 never forsakes 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 can’t 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 the real motive of your heart. Only listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and never listen to the enemy who condemns. There is always the promise of hope in Christ's conviction, but only despair in the 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 lifts you from the darkest despair and sets you free from sin’s control.
You can’t 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. Your overwhelming problem or issue can bring feelings of anger and bitterness toward God for allowing something to happen and then anger toward yourself for being angry at God. Confess to God that you are sorry for your anger toward him, and forgive yourself for your anger. Life happens. Events happen. Problems come. Trials are inevitable. People will hurt you. The Lord who gave His life for you hasn’t abandoned you. His power is greater in your life than that of any event or person. Don’t ever allow unforgiveness—whether toward God or toward someone else or toward yourself—to harden your heart. Humble yourself, and forgive! Forgive! Forgive!
“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. 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). God’s 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. And you have found delight in Him.
(Copyright 2017 Lynn Hampton Lacher)