In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. —Psalm 119:14-16
As you read the post below, you may find yourself thinking: “He’s writing about the wrong verse.” So, please, stay with me to the end…
I remember being alone in my room three days after my surgery. I had taken a turn for the worse and I felt as horrible as I have ever felt in my life. I had a nasty tube between my nose and stomach. I felt like I was going to explode, and I was feeling sorry for myself. I was sinking into despair. I was thinking, “God is not good to me. He is not big enough or kind enough to help me through this situation.” Then I consciously thought, “I need a verse,” and the Spirit prompted me with something that I could “fix my eyes on…”:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)
That was it. I began praying, Lord, make me joyful. I’m falling into despair here. This tube is disgusting. I feel terrible. Please make me joyful. I felt no different… So I again recited the verses from James that I had memorized, and again I prayed, Lord, make me joyful. And again, I felt no joy. As I meditated on the verse, the Spirit prompted me with a question…
Does this verse say, “Ask the Lord to make you joyful?” After some time of meditation, I concluded, “No. It is telling me to count it all joy” (my emphasis). I had not been counting my situation as joyful. I wanted to be joyful, but I was going about it my way. I was not delighting in God’s way!
So I began to count it all joy by thanking the Lord for this trial:
Lord, thank you for the extremely helpful (and disgusting) tube in my stomach. How would I feel if I didn’t have the tube?
Lord, thank you for this hospital.
Lord, thank you the specific surgeon who was on-call to perform the surgery at 1 a.m.
And Lord, thank you that I made it to the emergency room before passing out in pain, sparing my wife from thinking I had died en route.
Reflecting on this life experience, I thank the Lord for allowing me to participate in the beautiful truth of Psalm 119:14-16.
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
As I delighted in His testimonies, God began a work in my heart. As I fixed my eyes on His ways, a measure of steadfastness was added to my life. I remember feeling joy in that moment. I remember thinking, “Brian, don’t waste this surgery, and don’t waste how you’re feeling physically.” In just a matter of minutes, I had gone from despair to joy… by meditating on God’s Word previously committed to memory.
In your current circumstances, have you fixed your eyes on “your ways”? How are His ways different?
What role does meditation on the Word play in the fight of faith?
What role does memorization of the Word play in the fight of faith?
What must accompany delight… to be delight? (Hint: See Psalm 34:8.)