No.250. Thanksgiving and Joy in His Presence!

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No.250. Thanksgiving and Joy in His Presence!

I have to go back to Psalm 16 again this morning. It really is my most favourite psalm, and there is more for us in it today. In the verses which we quoted yesterday, from the end of the psalm, ‘You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore’. AMP, the message is simple, David recognised that joy comes as he follows the path in life that the Lord chooses for him, and as he stays close to Him, right by His side. These verses are the ones that we probably remember the most from this psalm, but they come on the back of some other very profound declarations.

Written by a king who is also a great military leader, this psalm is a remarkable testament to his submission to the Lordship of his God. It demonstrates his humility and his dependence on the Lord as well as his trust, love and delight in God. Perhaps all those nights alone on the hillside watching his father’s sheep gave him the time that he needed to really get to know God. He had proved that the Lord would help him in his work – protecting the sheep from bears and lions, 1 Samuel 17:34, and by the time he comes on the scene, as a young man, commissioned to soothe the King’s nerves with his playing, he had also learnt to worship and had become a proficient musician 1 Samuel 16:23.

At the beginning of the psalm we see how he acknowledges God – not his army – as his true protection, his refuge. Even more than that, he declares that ‘apart from You I have no goodness’, or ‘no good thing’. (verses 1 & 2). He makes no bones about declaring that he is who he is, and where he is, because that has been the Lord’s plan for him, not his own prowess or merit. He says ‘You have assigned me my portion and cup……. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (verses 5 & 6).

He also attributes his wisdom to the Lord, speaking of Him as ‘the one who who counsels me; in the night my heart instructs me.’  And then he explains why he is so confident in the Lord, telling the reader of the intentional choice he has made ‘I set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’ (verses 7 & 8 ).

To me all these statements add up to the fact that David was in harmony with the Lord. There is a sense of his complete ‘agreement’ with the Lord in the writing of this psalm.  Now we know that David had his moments when he questioned God, but from this particular psalm, we can just ‘feel’ the closeness and the friendship that he had with God. It is no wonder that for all his mistakes he was called ‘a man after God’s own heart’, because from this psalm we can see that he sought to walk closely with the Lord. As the prophet Amos asks, ‘Can two walk together unless they be agreed?’ Amos 3:3.

Out of this place of ‘harmony’ with God, David could say unequivocally, ‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory (my inner self or spirit) rejoices; my body also will rest secure because you won’t abandon me to the grave’. He has joy in this life and confidence for the next. (verses 9 & 10). And then we read verse 11, where David writes of there being such joy in God’s presence and ‘pleasures at His right hand for evermore.’

The joy in God that he has, comes from his walking in harmony with God, walking in agreement with  God that He is for him, with him, planning and preparing the way for him, in all the circumstances of his life. What an amazing revelation that man had, long before Jesus and the cross. It is like he has discovered that saying ‘yes’ to God’s plans and purposes for his life has brought him into an amazing friendship with the Almighty God, the God who we can now call our Heavenly Father.

So how do we get to walk in this kind of harmony with the Lord; in the kind of agreement with Him that means that His yoke is easy? I believe it is by thanking Him and praising Him in all our circumstances. Thanksgiving brings us into a place of agreement with God. It helps us to grow in our understanding of His ways. We get to discern His hand in our lives in all the different seasons that we go through. Thanksgiving can even bring  us to the place of peace with Him, when we don’t understand, enabling us to find that fullness of joy in His presence’ and the pleasures stored up for us at His right hand.


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