Where Joy Can Be Found (Psalm 16:11)
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11
I’m so grateful for this psalm. It has been a comfort and wonderful promise to contemplate, giving me much needed encouragement over the years.
Psalm 16 was written by David, who recognized God was his shelter and protection, refuge and hiding place. He saw the benefits of choosing God over lesser pleasures and praised Him for the many blessings he received from Him like wisdom, counsel, and security. God alone satisfies. Seeking anything other than the Lord would be folly, bringing sorrow. As Puritan Thomas Brooks observed:
What folly to spend your time, strength and lives in getting the great things of this world, neglecting that one necessary thing, the salvation of the soul!…Fools are all for the present, their bodies and their bellies, and they take no care to make provision for their immortal souls. Now, do you think that God, who has all wisdom, glory, dignity, riches, treasures, pleasures, comforts, delights, and joys in himself will have everlasting fellowship with fools…? Surely no. (Richard Rushing, ed., Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings, vol. 2,13.)
David says fullness of joy—true, deep, lasting joy—is found only in God’s presence. Jesus taught during His time on earth that seeking Him first and foremost (Matthew 6:33), worshiping Him, and learning from Him by His Word and His Spirit is how we experience His presence.
In John 15, Jesus told His disciples that abiding in Him and His love would bring fullness of joy. He also spoke much of the joy and advantage of His going away because He would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to be with them (John 16:7) and in them (John 14:7). Though we can’t see Jesus, He is with us. As we celebrated last month, Jesus is our Immanuel—God with us (Matthew 1:23). Now all believers in Jesus are indwelt by the Holy Spirit—His presence is forever with us.
The pleasures David exulted in—communion and fellowship in God’s presence—are beyond comprehension as we walk with Him, trusting Him and obeying His Word. What a blessing to have the written Word of God to guide us in our lives and prepare us for our eternal home (Psalm 119:105). God's Word has guided me daily and set me on a solid foundation when the unexpected happened. It gave me hope when I experienced financial difficulties, strength to persevere when betrayed, and comfort in the struggles and losses of this life.
When we prioritize time with God in His Word, we experience what David proclaimed. In God’s presence there is fullness of joy!
Ask yourself, how have I been spending my time; is there anything I’ve been neglecting?
Is seeking God a priority in my life? How can I make Him more of a priority?
Is spending time in God’s Word, asking His Spirit to guide me, a daily joy? What can I do to make this happen consistently?
Lori Myers is a customer care specialist at Truth78 and loves serving in her local church. She has been using the Fighter Verses memory program since 2004, growing deeper in God's Word through daily practice. She is blessed to have two amazing daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, and five adorable grandchildren.