11 | Joy In His Presence
As Christmas draws closer, Florrie reminds us that, "with the knowledge that God directs our path of life and hold eternal pleasures for those who trust in and honour him, we can have absolute joy in his presence."
I can’t wait for the New Year. Now, I don’t mean this in a see-how-many-green-juices-you-can-forge-down-yourself health kick kind of way, nor a ‘channel hygge and be zen’ kind of way. What I mean is simply that I want to shut the door firmly on 2017. You know when you have ‘meh’ days that turn into ‘meh’ weeks and all of a sudden they’re ‘meh’ months…yeah, me too.
Now actually, I’m being a self-indulgent drama queen and am pointedly ignoring the many blessings this year has brought, to name the gorgeous weddings of two of my cousins and the joyful 25th wedding anniversary of my wicked (good wicked, for those confused) parents, as two examples. But nevertheless, it is high time I bid 2017 au revoir and here’s to hoping there’s a year of candyfloss and rainbows on the horizon. Whatever your views on candyfloss are, that would be great – wouldn’t it? As blissful as that does seem, the promises of Psalm 16:11 outdo it by a mile, and then some.
For the Psalm reads:
‘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.’
Unsurprisingly, as we have seen the joy and majesty of our Lord over the past few days, this is pretty exciting and game-changing stuff.
For Christians, receiving the promise that being in the presence of God brings joy and eternal pleasures means that regardless of a shoddy day at work or a stressful lecture or lesson, we can seek true and unfaltering joy in him.
David proclaims in the latter half of v8 in the same Psalm ‘with him at my right hand, I will not be shaken’.
Life in Christ exudes true happiness that is un-paralleled in earthly contentment, meaning that when we are naturally disheartened by the shortcomings of a sinful world inhabited by sinful humans we turn to our Father as the steadfast beacon of Joy.
It would be wrong to assume that this will result in us feeling pleasure around the clock, every day of the year. Christians are taught repeatedly throughout the Bible to expect affliction for honouring Christ, as seen in verses such as Philippians 1:29 and 1 Peter 4:13-14 and so this discontentment should not surprise us.
However, equally, as the Psalmist cries out ‘you will make known to me the path of life’, meaning that we are not shrouded in darkness when we face strife but instead, are directed by God along our ‘path of life’. As corny as this sounds, it is actually a beautiful and affirming promise made to those who live in Christ.
With the knowledge that God directs our path of life and hold eternal pleasures for those who trust in and honour him, we can have absolute joy in his presence. Whilst not to diminish challenging earthly struggles, they feel instantly secondary to the eternal joy we have in Christ.
At Christmas, and throughout the year, we can exalt our Lord for his gift of his only son to believers, allowing us not only to be saved by his sacrifice, but also to meet true joy in his presence.
I'm Florrie and I'm in my final year of school in London, currently preparing to immerse myself in a multitude of books, plays and poems for the next three years. When I'm not being a hermit swaddled in books, I'll most likely be found being a hermit bobbing in the sea (aka my second home), eating yellow peppers by the kilo and in particular loving my Wednesday night Bible study with my oldest mates