By Brooke Holt
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” - Psalm 16:9-11
In John 10:10, Jesus contrasts the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy with himself as the one who came into this world that we may have life and have it abundantly. David seems to understand these words of Jesus even before they were spoken by the Messiah. For David, joy in life was found in the presence of his Lord. David trusts that the Lord is always with him, always working, and always leading him. Not only that, but David trusted in the eternal goodness and promises of the Lord. Even in death, David believed he would be in the presence of his God.
In response to this confidence, David sings with joy. His heart is glad and his whole being seems to proclaim worship and praise of the Lord. Did David worship and praise because he had been abundantly blessed, or did David praise because in the Lord, he found true security?
In reading Psalm 16, it would seem the latter is more fitting. The source of David’s joy is God’s ongoing presence. David loves the presence of the Lord and thus his whole being delights in him. There is such assurance that David will never walk alone, never be abandoned. Again, even in his death, David is assured that God will be with him. Therefore, David delights in this daily walk with the Lord. Now we know from the life of David that there were many dark days. There were days of waiting upon the promises of the Lord, of grieving his sin, and even grieving the sin of his people. Yet, David is called “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22). David’s sin did not define him nor did his trials and tribulations. Instead, David’s tenacious faith and heart for the Lord is what defined him. Could there be a better description for a person than “a man or woman after God’s own heart”?
I certainly don’t think so, but the question looms—how can we live like David? How do you or I develop such faith and a heart for God? The answer seems to lie in these last couple of verses: by living in the presence of God and finding our ultimate joy in who he is and how he has called us to live. Do you live your life finding true pleasure in the ways and will of God? Do you seek him with your whole being? Do you recognize that fullness of joy is only to be found in him?
Just as David processed his life and faith through song and prayer, so the Lord invites you to do the same today. You are not failing if you cannot answer those questions as David did. Instead, he is inviting you to new life, abundant life, the path of life that can only be found in him. Bring your heart authentically before him today and invite him to speak, to guide, and to provide what you need.
Are you walking on the path of life? If not, is today the day to change paths? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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