Delight

Psalm 37.4The noun delight has its origin in the 13th century.  It is defined as “a high degree of gratification”.  The French origin of the word points up the fact that it is a fairly intimate word.  Psalm 37.4 reads, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I would guess that many of us have a very difficult time relating to this verse.  We live in a world that knows neither love nor hatred by the physical evidence in front of them (see Ecclesiastes 9.1-2).  Asaph pined away about witnessing the prosperity of the wicked during his life (Psalm 73).

But as the song writer penned, “If I could see beyond tomorrow as God does see…”  Our problem truly rests in the fact that we find a high degree of gratification in all the wrong things.  Our desires are tethered to all the wrong things.  If desire is tethered to time and the sensate experiences of life, we simply have the wrong desires.  It’s hard to convince myself and others that this is positively true.

Psalm 37.4 tells us to delight ourselves in the LORD.  This is a responsibility that we must meet, or we will become unsatisfied with life.  Psalm 81.10 has the clear directive of our LORD:  “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”  Nobody else is able to fill us but our Creator.  Feed on His faithfulness (Psalm 37.3b).

Think of Heaven.  The souls who have gone before us are indeed happy and care-free.  If eternal life is something we enjoy now (and it is), then we ought to bring a little delight from Heaven into our world today.  Don’t live below the position and privilege that you have in Christ as God’s dear child.  Heaven is to you an everlasting possession.  Find a high degree of gratification in the LORD.  Once you do, you will have the desires of your heart …all of them.

Gaining Christ

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Nothing wins in life like gaining Christ.  Self-righteousness is repugnant to God, but the righteousness which is from God by faith is an unsurpassed excellence.  We count all things loss for this excellence.  We count all things as rubbish in comparison with gaining Christ.  Nothing wins in life like gaining Christ.

What is mean by knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection in Philippians 3.10?  This power is certainly found in the fact that the death of Christ is an incomplete story.  Jesus offered up His life’s blood for us.  He then appeared in the presence of God for us as the resurrected Christ (Hebrews 9.24).  If He is not risen, His work is not finished.  But He is and it is (John 19.30).  He was delivered up to death with a view toward our offense;  He was raised from the dead with a view toward making us right before the Father (Romans 4.25).  “It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8.34).

The power of His resurrection gave entrance for the Spirit to indwell and empower the believer.  Jesus said that it was to our advantage that He went away. If He had not, the Helper would not have come to us.  But He departed, and He sent the Helper to us (John 16.7).  We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Promised One (Acts 2.38-39).  “Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14.9).

The power of His resurrection will exalt us to glory.  “By man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15.21).  Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14.2-3).  “The forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever” (Hebrews 6.20).

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection is experiential and relational knowledge.  The resurrection of Christ establishes the foundation of faith.  It is one thing to read about faith, it’s another to experience it.  Do you have a faith that overcomes the lusts of the flesh?  Do you have a faith that draws you close to God?  Do you have a faith that moves you to delight in those things in which God delights?  If you do, you are experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection quickens hope.  Hope comes to those who continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  You ride out the storms of doubt, trial, and adversity.  You keep dependent in times of prosperity.  You trust in the LORD.  You know your sinfulness, but you also know the power of His blood.  You know your weakness, but you also know the sufficiency of His grace.  You are confident of this very thing:  that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phiippians 1.6).

Knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection transforms temporal life into eternal life.  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15.13).  This hope-filled, eternal quality of life paves the way for temporal suffering within the sphere of joy and peace.  Only the hopeful are able to enter into the sufferings of Christ.  The power of His resurrection carries us through the fellowship of His sufferings.