Concerning joy, the psalmist mentions one other thing of great importance. We don’t often think of it this way, but our relationship with God is immensely pleasurable. In the awareness of God’s presence with us, comes the awareness of what His presence brings to us. The Psalmist speaks of “eternal pleasures” at God’s “right hand.”
Because of God’s loving relationship with us, He is moved to act in His power and authority on our behalf – to lead us, guide us, bless us, and surround us with His personal attention and affection. Those who truly know God, also know that He is not just to be seen as a King only to be strictly obeyed – He is an amazingly wonderful Person, in Whom we can delight, and find immense enjoyment.
And why not? He is good and kind, full of love, mercy and compassion, and abundantly eager to express these qualities towards those who draw near to Him. Why would we not find life’s greatest pleasure in the One Who made us, and Who designed us to respond so openly and delightfully to His Spirit? He is eager to love us, and the experience of connection to God’s unlimited and unconditional love fills us with an indescribable pleasure and joy.
The very essence of God’s love towards us is captured in the apostle’s words to the Romans:
The apostle is moved to remind us that in the midst of our most difficult circumstances, we are completely surrounded by God’s presence, and secured within His indescribable love. He has given us His sure promise:
“Surely I am with you always…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; see also Deuteronomy 31:6-8)
Even in the midst of great trial and persecution, there is a profound joy in knowing that He is with us, and doing something valuable within us (and for us), in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves…