Joy Is Hopeful
I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight – Psalm 119:174
While I can’t pin down a percentage, I maintain a large part of joy is hope. When people are hopeless, they lose joy.
The psalmist longs for God’s salvation. We are left to draw our own conclusions about exactly what he was referring to with the phrase “Your salvation,” but it is reasonable to conclude he needed some form of deliverance, help, or rescue.
While he is longing for some form of divine intervention, he clearly knows the solution to his situation comes from God. Salvation is only found in Him. He is looking in the right direction to find answers and as long as he looks that way, he remains hopeful.
His longing is directed to God and His Word. He says he delights in God’s Word and that delight is what gives him hope. He longs for God to act and he knows that God acts through His Word.
To my wife and I, the concept of people feeling hopeless and losing joy hits close to us. Back in the summer of 2013, our youngest daughter took her own life. Getting that phone call late on a Tuesday afternoon changed our lives. While it’s a long story, the bottom-line is she lost hope. Through years of a serious illness, bad choices, and soured relationships, things had turned so poorly in her life she saw no deliverance to her situation.
Faced with what she perceived as no way to redeem and rescue her situation, she took what she thought was her only option. There were plenty of other options, but without hope, she had no joy and saw no resolution to her problem. Without hope, her view of reality was distorted. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions. I expect my wife and I will bear the scars of her decision for the rest of our lives.
Hopelessness not only robs your joy, but it warps your worldview. While our daughter’s situation may be extreme, it isn’t uncommon. Many people go through life hopeless, devoid of joy, and have a warped sense of reality.
The psalmist is not ignoring his situation. His situation might be desperate and it might have existed that way for a long time. This longing he mentions is hard and it may take considerable patience. But he knows his rescue is coming from God and even in his longing, he delights in the Scriptures.
It’s important when we are facing adversity of any sort, to keep ourselves in the Word. This act of commitment to the Bible will bring us joy. Maybe not all at once, but the Word produces hope, which in turn, brings joy.
Blessings My Friend