Delight in the Lord

Written by on August 14, 2023

It is human nature to battle against self-worship. We get tempted to focus on the promises God has for us. We forget that some of these promises carry conditions. I would argue that one of the most misused verses in the bible is Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desire of your heart.” It is easy to misapply this verse, to say if I follow God, he will give me what I what. It is helpful to look at this verse as saying when we delight in the Lord, he becomes our heart’s desire, and he will give us that desire because he gives us himself. A.W Tozer said, “We pursue God because and only because he has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit, and when the Holy Spirit shows God as he is, we admire him to the point of wonder and delight.”

The word delight appears 265 times in the bible. What does it mean to delight in the Lord? The word delight means to gain great pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. Another meaning is to be soft or tender. David wrote this psalm. We know David as the Shepard boy who fought lions and wolves safeguarding the sheep. We know him as a man who was prayerful and who knew God. He became kind and had many trials during his lifetime, but the most important thing we should remember about him is that he knew how to delight in the Lord, especially during times of distress.”

Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desire of your heart.”

The concept of delight in God is intertwined closely with intimacy with God. Think back to when you freely enjoyed a friend or family company. What made that moment special? Did you laugh or cry together? Did you bond through the thrill of shared experiences? Or maybe you sat with each other in loving silence, grateful to know you didn’t have to carry a burden alone. To experience deep, satisfying fellowship is a gift like no other. The connection doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to know the person. The same is true when it comes to delighting in the Lord. For us to delight in the Lord, we first know him. Our invitation to seek and know him is one of a Christian’s most valuable privileges and the secret to our delight in the Lord, especially in times of distress.

In 1 Samuel 1, we meet Hannah, who did not have children and prayed fervently about her desire. Finally, God blessed her with a son named Samuel. 1 Samuel 2:1 says, “Then Hannah prayed and said: my heart rejoices in the Lord; in the horn the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.” Like Hannah, we can always delight in answered prayer. We, however, don’t always have our prayers answered, never the less we can praise and glee in the Lord, who is working things out for our good.

Deuteronomy 30:9b says, “The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors.” Not only do we delight in God, but he also delights in us. One of the greatest blessings is to find the joy of a relationship with the Lord. We can do this by making time for him in his word, worshiping with praise music, staying in communication with him throughout our days, admiring who he is in nature, using creativity to glorify him, and having a heart of thankfulness.



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