What Joy!

Today we have three questions related to three verses from Psalm 84 to help us understand how to experience the true joy that comes from God.

What do we long for most?

What we often long for here on earth is security, fun, vacations, relationships, health, etc. The trouble with earthly things is that they are temporary. While not inherently good or bad on their own, each of these longings are subject to becoming idols if we prioritize them over our longing for God.

What joy for those who can live in your house,
    always singing your praises.

A portion from Psalm 84:10-12 within The Message (MSG) really convicted me because of my own longing for the beaches of Greece. It reads “One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.” I confess to have put more longing into this type of experience than I put into longing for dwelling in God’s house.

Where do we find strength?

As we read the unbelievably somber news headlines each day, what are our first thoughts? It’s scary out there, but we shouldn’t be surprised. We know the end game. We know our physical bodies were not meant to last.

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
    who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. (Psalm 84:5)

The more we fill ourselves God’s word and put our faith in him alone, the more we understand our purpose and live that purpose (God’s purpose), the less room there is for fear. We will most certainly experience failures, that is how we grow, and if we’re not failing, we’re probably not taking enough risks.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2-3)

Where do we place our trust?

How ironic that the US currency says “In God we trust”, yet what so many of us trust is currency itself! Another conviction for me this morning, yet joy as I repent, and am grateful for the instant forgiveness that Jesus offers.

Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you. (Psalm 84:12)

May we all trust like Philip.

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” (John 14:8)