Psalm 119:73-80 Yodh
You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy,
for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, O Lord , that your regulations are fair;
you disciplined me because I needed it.
Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.
Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me;
meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commandments.
Let me be united with all who fear you,
with those who know your laws.
May I be blameless in keeping your decrees;
then I will never be ashamed.
Hope and joy are two very important words in our Christian vocabulary. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Joy is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. These are the two definitions from the dictionary on dictionary.com. I think what the Psalmist here is painting is a picture of what it is like to have joy in the journey of faith. I always go back to the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13:13 where Paul is taking about faith, hope and love. We have faith first in our lives. Then hope comes about as we have our godly dreams to seek after, and the love is the most important because usually godly dreams involve changing others lives. This is a very cool passage of scripture because it’s talking about finding two of the biggest driving elements in our Christian walk, hope and joy.
Let’s talk about hope first. Without faith, there would not be any hope. Hands down that is a consistent truth. Faith in an eternal God that loves us and wants our best is so hopeful it’s not funny. My own personal definition for hope is being inspired by God with moments of realization that are either negative or positive in the direction we are headed. We will have things come against us and we will have things that encourage us to continue moving toward the goal. The enemy does not want us to make it to the goal, so negative things will work their way in to detract us from the hope and dream we have. For me personally when I get up early and run, I get to see the sun rise every day as long as it’s not cloudy. To me the sunrise brings me hope and I love the beauty of it, but sometimes it’s too cloudy to enjoy this vision. It may be a bummer not being able to see that sunrise, but I also know above the clouds the sun is shining. Even though we may not see the sun or our future hope happening does not mean God is not in the mix and getting us on track to the awesomeness He has for us.
My own definition of joy is the feeling or emotion we get when we see our progress toward the hope we have. It’s a never ending thing that happens. Happiness is short lived, but joy is continuous. Hope gives us a cause for joy. I love what the Psalmist is painting here, he wants us to give others a cause for joy. What does a cause for joy look like? It’s taking the hope we have for the dream and inspiring others to that dream. It’s having passion for the dream and taking others along for the ride. My passion right now is to publish a book on my own personal spiritual journey on my weight loss. God gave me this vision of sharing my unpublished work with my connect group that I lead at church. Talk about awesome wisdom, I have gotten some major ideas from just sitting around and talking about the topics in my book. This last week is a great example, I had someone disagree with some wording that I used and the Holy Spirit confirmed that I was wrong in what I was saying. There was truth in it, but the semantics of what I was saying was wrong. In fact it came out very harsh and would probably lose the reader if I didn’t have an open mind to change it. It shows me that I need to be in the right frame of mind as I write this book. Now I am joyful for two things, for a friend that was honest enough to say I was wrong and for God in leading me in the right direction of discussing the topics of my book with the connect group. I could have been offended by my friend, but I wasn’t because I am having joy in my journey and I can have a teaching moment for myself that can be shared with my connect group. I may have overcome a major obstacle in my life with my weight loss, but I can’t say I have all the answers. My hope with this book is that I can spread the joy I found in my cause to others and they would be inspired to inspire others as well.
Faith gives us hope of a dream, joy gives us consistent drive toward that hope that God has for us. God’s word is as always a constant encouragement toward this dream we have, as we need to continue in His word day in and day out. Always have an open mind to what a godly friend will say to you, because it just might be a moment of realization that you are on the right path toward your hopeful godly dream.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.