I've been making my way through the Psalms, one chapter a day, and eagerly anticipating Psalm 40 because it contains my testimony passage (verses 1-3). But a new verse captured my attention today. Verse 8 says, "I take joy in doing Your will, my God, for Your instructions are written on my heart."
So who wants joy? Raise your hand. (Okay, I can't see you, but I bet you did!) Well, I know we all do. But the question is, what are we doing to try and get it? Think about it. Fill in the blank: __________________. Each of us has a unique answer, but David is pretty clear here that there is only one way: We get it by doing God's will. And we know what His will is by receiving His instruction.
That's what Jesus did. He spent time with His Father in the morning. In the evening. In fact, all the time. He abided with Him. And then He knew what His Father wanted Him to do. And Jesus had joy.
If I was going to paraphrase Psalm 40:8, I'd write this: "Because I spend time receiving, meditating, and acting on the things I read in the Bible, I understand and know God better. I can hear Him more clearly and my life is characterized by joy because I am following in His perfect plan for me." That sounds like I have it down perfect. I don't. But it's my goal - daily.
So how is your Bible time? Hit and miss? Non-existent? Do you crack it open the night before Bible Study and quickly scribble in your answers? That was me for about 35 years. And it didn't do me much good. But now that daily Bible reading is a habit, my life is characterized by joy. Whatever happens - and believe me, stuff happens! - God's Word pops up and gives me His perspective. I can understand that whatever it is - it must be part of God's will and my reaction or response based on God's Word allows me to follow in His will.
God made the equation is pretty simple. Bible time = God's will = joy.