Delight Yourself in the Lord
Does God want you to be happy? This question is asked by many, and there are numerous books, sermons, and “Bible” studies that try to answer this question. Each explains how God wants you to give you all the desires of your heart. These materials are often filled with unbiblical promises that ensure health, wealth, and prosperity.
There is no doubt that God desires for his children to be happy, but happiness is defined differently in Scripture than by man. Psalm 37:4 is helpful in understanding this, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When the Lord’s desires become yours, then you will be happy. You delight in things that align with God’s will. The rest of Psalm 37 is helpful in applying this principle. Note some ways how to delight yourself in the Lord.
First, do not fret nor be envious of evildoers (Ps. 37:1). This is more of a struggle than we might like to admit. It is tempting to lose faith when you see sinful people being prosperous and never being accosted by the life’s maladies. Psalm 37:1 reminds you not to be envious of them because their lives are not in line with God’s will. When you discern their end, their life is hopeless because they have set themselves in slippery places (Ps. 73:16-18). Psalm 37:2 says, “For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.”
Second, trust in the Lord and do good (Ps. 37:3). A fretful heart is not a trusting heart. It lacks peace and joy. It keeps you from doing good because it diverts your focus inward. Living by faith requires both trust and service. It keeps your attention upward toward God and outward towards the needs of others. In both of these, the Lord delights. Trusting in the Lord brings clarity to life’s path (Prov. 3:5-6).
Third, commit your way to the Lord (Ps. 37:5). The word “commit” means to roll off one’s burden to another. You give all of the issues of life to the Lord, and you strive to serve him. Peter echoes this exhortation in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” He takes your heavy yoke and gives you a light one in its place.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When God’s desires become your desires, then you will experience happiness and contentment. His desires are eternal in perspective and faith-building. It is not temporary. This is the type of happiness that God wants for you.