A Cause for Joy

Psalm 119:74 reads, “May all who fear you, find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your Word.” This prayer of the Psalmist comes just after a series of verses acknowledging how God has allowed difficulties into his life to train and correct him. He admits, “I used to wonder off until you disciplined me.” And a few verses later he proclaims, “My suffering was good for me for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”

I am encouraged as I identify elements of my own journey in this prayer. God personally and purposefully disciplines me. He turns me from my own curved-in ways to the path of His choosing. And like the Psalmist I am brought to a place where I see this as a good thing. “If you had not disciplined me, Lord, I would have died in my misery.” But I also see that God personally and purposefully uses the suffering that is not related to my own sinful choices  to drive me to Him, finding comfort and strength in His word. And like the Psalmist I acknowledge, “You have done many good things for me, Lord!”

Ultimately joy is contagious. As I have seen God’s discipline and comfort in my own life, and have acknowledged His goodness in the midst of so much pain, I have experienced a new and deep joy. But it doesn’t stop with me, because God’s intention is for joy to spill out of me and into the lives of others around me who see His faithfulness in my life and are reassured that He truly is our only source. This petition of the Psalmist becomes my own prayer:

Oh Lord, may all who fear you, find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word!

 


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