Do you “delight” in anything very often? You might be a tough-guy man who would never use this word. Perhaps you are a woman who finds delightful things to be parties or beautiful experiences. You are a little closer to the truth about God’s view.
In Psalm 37 we can read, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4-6). Here is the warrior King David telling us of God’s perspective on “delight.” God wants us to delight and trust in Him. But note that if you thought about what would delight your heart before verse 6 you might have said something different. Perhaps you would have said that your delight would be a $1,000,000 or a better job or wife or life. But that is not what comes next. God wants our delight to be in Him so that He can make our righteousness shine brightly. Righteousness and holiness is His desire: “For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45; 1 Peter 1:16). This is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. You can read in The Pursuit of Holiness, a book by Jerry Bridges that the will of God for us is, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). God wants us more like Him and one of His key attributes is holiness.
This study of Scripture may cause a new twist to your faith journey. We always knew that it was not about us and our desires or delights on this plane. We are to make our desires the same as the Lord’s. Psalm 37:23 goes on to tell us, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” I love that God will take delight in anything I do or am. The Psalmist also tells us about the blessed man, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted in streams of water” (Psalm 1:2-3). In Deuteronomy we read, “You will again obey the Lord and follow all His commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands…The Lord delights in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the Lord your God and keep His commandments” (Deuteronomy 29:8-9). God clearly wants us in step with His way as I write about in my book, This is the Way; Walk in it.
It is wonderful and delightful that the Lord delights in us, as we trust in Him. But He also disciplines those in whom He delights Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:6 tell us. This is our journey as Christians. Paul even said in 2 Corinthians 12, “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God’s power is being made perfect in our weakness. And we can be sure that all these tough times will be increasing as we come closer to the return of Christ. So stand firm because we have a God who delights in us.
‘”The Lord your God is with you,
The Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”’ (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)