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Becoming People of Joy

I’ve been reflecting lately on Psalm 16, which begins: Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. We don’t know the circumstances during which David was writing: perhaps he was in real danger or struggle, perhaps he was just thinking about the uncertainties and frailty of life in general. Whatever his circumstances, he quickly moves to praise: therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. His praise is not linked here to his circumstances, but in his Lord’s presence and His promises. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. This Psalm, which begins with a plea for protection, ends with a wonderful expression of trust and praise. Seems to me, this is a great pattern for us and for our prayers, both for ourselves and those around us….

Let me encourage you to read for yourself Psalm 16: perhaps even a few times, and let its truth sink into your soul. No matter what your circumstances, or the circumstances of those you are praying for, this Psalm can lead us from a place of worry, fear, or discouragement into a place of trust, thanks and joy. And Paul reminds us that we are to Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; (1Thessalonians 5:16-18). Perhaps David here hints at how we can do that, how we can indeed be people of thanks and joy. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a function not of our circumstances, but of our relationship with our Lord, and our closeness to Him, a product of time spent with Him. Of “Being” with Him…. Maybe…. Just a thought…