Psalm 16:5-11 – “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Because God is the Lord of hosts who is with us (Psalm 46:11), David’s heart is glad. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Because God’s presence goes before us, we should not fear, but should instead rejoice with gladness. David says in Psalm 16:8-9 that he “shall not be shaken” because God is at his right hand, and that because of this his heart is glad, his “whole being rejoices.” David also says that God is his chosen portion, his cup. Even before that, in Psalm 16:2, David says, “I have no good apart from you.”
How sad is it that the majority of Christians have to sink LOW in hardship in order to learn that they have no good apart from God. They have left their first love to the extent that they need to hit rock bottom time and time again to wake them up, to learn that God is the only good we have. This is a simple truth from God’s Word that many of us believe with our minds, while we doubt with our hearts.
Look at Psalm 16:11. David rightly describes that God is the path of life, he brings fullness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. A path of life is a way to walk that leads to life. Life is found here on earth in Jesus, but it is also the end of the road after we die. When we die, if we’ve walked this path with Jesus, then the end of the road is life. This path is not a path of misery, self-deprivation, and gloom. It is a path of true, unending joy and satisfaction. As you look at the current path you are walking, or possibly the current course you have marked out for yourself, what is the end result? Is it one that leads to “pleasures forevermore” and “fullness of joy,” or merely temporary pleasures that lead to fleeting joy?
The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. To glorify God is the most often stated purpose of the church and of the Christian. We live for God’s glory (fame, praise, name), not our own. But what this confession teaches is that we are also created to enjoy Him forever. John Piper teaches that these two ideas are not contradictory: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” What we enjoy most is what we show the most worth and value.
99% of the time that I eat at McDonald’s, I leave wondering why on earth I ate at McDonald’s. I didn’t enjoy it. 100% of the time I eat a burger from Red Eye Brewing Company, I leave after having enjoyed what the restaurant created. My enjoyment of that burger praises Red Eye for the good work they did in creating the bacon-covered grass-fed beef burger. When we enjoy God or enjoy the life that God has given us, we are enjoying it to His glory. Life is pleasing because of what he has given. This life isn’t meant to be lived in gloom, despair, and sadness. There is a time for everything, but if our lives are lived with discontentment, despair, and gloom, then we are telling our Creator God that the life he has blessed us with isn’t good enough; that he isn’t good enough in himself. May we believe that in his hand are pleasures forevermore.