Last week I wrote about finding joy. I wrote about the Apostle Paul and the joy he found, even while sitting in a jail cell. I wrote about King Solomon and the lack of joy he found in this world. I touched on some of the experiences I have had in the last year, and how there were times I lacked the joy that comes from Christ. Last week, I began to read through Psalms. As I was reading through Psalms, I came across Psalm 13.
Psalm 13 lit up my heart. Written by King David of Israel, we see a feeling of desperation, a feeling of defeat, a plea towards God.
- "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?" - Psalm 13:2
What vulnerability from a king. How often is it that we feel like the enemy warps our thoughts to be used against us? How often is it that our hearts become filled with sorrow? How often do we feel defeated, like the enemy has complete control over us? As much as we don't want to admit it, these feelings can be frequent. Read through the Psalms, they were more than frequent for King David.
King David was a broken man. King David fell to sin just as much as any of us. King David pleaded to God, begging for saving from his sorrows, feeling like God was not answering his prayers. King David asks "how long" four times in just as many sentences. King David feels the same way that we can find ourselves feeling. Longing for answers, for comfort, for healing, all while feeling like our requests are set aside.
Yet, most importantly, look at King David's response.
- "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me." - Psalm 13:5-6
David find joy in Christ's salvation. He finds trust in the God that pours out love. He finds a reason to sing praises to God. Why? Because "he has been good to me". That truth is what sets us on a path filled with joy in Christ despite our circumstances. That truth is what puts our lives in perspective, what gives us real, true hope, what gives us comfort in all things. God has been good to us. Not only that, but God continues to be good to us. Forever.
We cannot find joy in Christ without realizing how good He is. We cannot find joy in Christ through our hardships until we recognize God's goodness in everything. God's goodness is littered in every part of your life. If God's goodness is there, then joy in Christ can be found there as well. We just have to be willing to look.
In Acts 13, the Apostle Paul is preaching to a group of people, explaining the covenant God made with the people of Israel. In doing so, Paul mentions that the Lord described David as 'a man after my own heart'. If we pursue the heart of God, if we recognize His goodness, we will find an everlasting joy in the Lord.
Like I said before, joy is paired with Jesus.