What is the Christian’s Delight?

What does it mean to delight in the Lord?

I can only think of a few things on earth that I thoroughly enjoy.  Breathtaking landscapes come to mind.  Traveling from the city to the countryside, to the mountains or to tropical places causes me to experience refreshment and renewal.  I can feel my whole body relax and the tension just melts away. I truly delight in God’s creation.

I also enjoy taking a break from cooking. Eating out once in a while gives me a renewed outlook on creativity in the kitchen.  I especially get a thrill out of trying new foods.  My mouth is watering even as I write! I take real delight in savoring delicious food.

And like most women, I really enjoy shopping!  Not grocery shopping or even clothes shopping.  I love shopping in stores that sell furniture and decorations for the home.  Most of the time it’s just window shopping, but I just really get a kick out of browsing all the possibilities. I delight in seeing new things and being creative.

Related: How to Seek Happiness in God

There are all kinds of joys I experience in day-to-day life, like conversations with my husband and kids, watching a funny show or suspenseful movie or just finally laying my head on the pillow at night after everyone else has gone to bed. As much as I delight in family time, I take extra delight in time alone.

And let’s not forget coffee.  And chocolate!

Delight Yourself in the Lord

In recent years I have come to understand the true meaning behind Psalm 37:4 and I’ve realized just how central this verse should be for every believer.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

The book, Desiring God, has helped to transform my thinking with its premise that the pursuit of pleasure in God Himself should be the goal of every Christian.  John Piper, the author, states that the book “aims to persuade you that the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”

Delighting in the Lord is not merely enjoying his benefits, blessings and gifts.  And it goes way beyond the gratefulness of experiencing His forgiveness.  Piper says, “It is unbiblical and arrogant to try to worship God for any other reason than the pleasure to be had in Him.  Not His gifts, but Him.”

I have to admit that the things I listed above that bring me pleasure – that I delight in – are things that are finite, things that will perish.  And that’s the problem in this world, isn’t it?  We search for pleasure in things that don’t last and our truest longings are left unfulfilled.

My earthly delights have a beginning and an end, and the sense of dissatisfaction always returns.  I live frustrated because those pleasures are just temporary.

The good news is that we were made for something more:  To find fulfillment in God Himself.  I love what John Calvin says in his commentary on Psalm 37:4:

“If we are satisfied in the enjoyment of God alone, he will liberally bestow upon us all that we shall desire: He will give thee the desires of thy heart. This does not imply that the godly immediately obtain whatever their fancy may suggest to them; nor would it be for their profit that God should grant them all their vain desires. The meaning simply is, that if we stay our minds wholly upon God, instead of allowing our imaginations like others to roam after idle and frivolous fancies, all other things will be bestowed upon us in due season.” John Calvin

He will give you the desires of your heart

The second part of the verse says, “and he will give you the desires of your heart”.  You see, God really does care about our desires, our wishes, our dreams.  But, he’s making clear that left to ourselves the things we want in our flesh amount to nothing compared to all that can be found in HIm.

When we begin to really know who He is, how He is, how He works and what pleases Him our mindset shifts and our desires change.  We begin to delight in Him.

His passions become our passions.  We rejoice in the things that bring Him joy.  We want what He wants.

Earthly pleasures pale in comparison to knowing God.

“The deepest and most enduring happiness is found only in God.  Not from God, but in God.” John Piper

Delight in the Lord when you are Unsatisfied

In part 2 of this series, we’ll focus on how we, as Christians, can practice delighting in the Lord.

King David wrote many of the Psalms.  God called him “a man after my own heart” when he chose him to be king over his people.  He knew all along David would fail many times, but it was the posture of David’s heart that God saw, his broken and contrite heart.  David always ran back to God, because he knew God’s heart, too.

David sought temporary pleasures in this world, just like we often do.  He learned that those pleasures could never fulfill the deepest longing in his heart.  And so did Solomon, his son.  We struggle with the same thing, don’t we?

We chase after relationships, wealth, beauty, comfort and entertainment.  We pursue knowledge, fame, position and power.

When we’re betrayed, hurt and violated and when life is just too painful to live we seek an escape through drugs, alcohol and sex.  We learn to numb ourselves without realizing that we are missing out on the greatest, most magnificent thing that is being offered to us – God Himself.

God is glorified when we delight in Him

You may be just starting out on your journey with God or, like me, you may have discovered this truth after years of walking with the Lord because you were so distracted by this earthly life.

But once it hits you between the eyes you can never be the same.  So simple, yet so profound.

“God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” (John Piper)

  • How can we be satisfied with a bowl of rice when he lays out before us a grand banquet?
  • How can we settle for a bouquet of roses when he offers us a field of splendid wildflowers as far as the eye can see?
  • Why look for thrills on a screen when all of God’s creation proclaims His majesty?

And how can we say we know and delight in God when we merely listen to a weekly 20-minute sermon and not delve into the mysteries of God’s Word which are ours for the taking?

What’s so delightful about God?

We can name more than a dozen of God’s attributes including these:

  • He is powerful
  • He is wise
  • He is loving

God is so many wonderful things.  A few of the things that I have been focusing on recently are his creativity – in nature, in man and how he works all things together for our good; his emotions – in how he responds to his people as we worship, when we pull away and when we draw near, how he reacts to sin and rebellion and when we love others; and his pursuit of those who are lost – he never gives up on those he’s called by name even as they resist Him.

How about you?  What is it about God that you delight in?  Let me know in the comments!

By the way, if you are interested in purchasing the book Desiring God you can find it at Christian Book.  I am an affiliate, which means I’d earn a small percentage if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you (which goes towards keeping my blog up and running!).

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39 thoughts on “What is the Christian’s Delight?

  1. You have joined with a lot of Christians in the the latest thinking for us in the world. It is interesting to me that the CHURCH is starting to think on this again. It has been almost 50 years since I first heard the words, Be Thankful and Delight in God!
    So, how have you touched me? Growing up as a very young Christian boy, I had questions about why we didn’t have this or that. My dad quoted some of Calvin just like you. He didn’t tell me then, that it was John Calvin, I was only 12 years old. Dad said, “In all things be satisfied. Always try to improve yourself because that’s good. Never try to get more than the other person.” He was actually quoting Paul somewhere.
    You have struck my heart yet again. Old memories have come flooding back about my childhood!
    I am so glad that you are a long time friend.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very profound! The Christian’s delight is in the Lord: To please him and to love what he loves. Thanks for sharing this post, it is a reminder for me to set my priorities right and to focus on what matters (The things of God).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After the opening paragraph I felt like you and I were the same person!! haha! This is a very encouraging post about the Christians delight. We can get so confused in this world with so many “things”. We have many things we can find joy in. And God does provide some of those things and it’s ok to find joy in them. But our ultimate joy must be stayed upon HIM!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so easy to delight in things that are temporal. This time of lockdown has allowed us all to focus of what really matters. And spending more time with God is the start! Thanks for your prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, Ava. There’s been a lot of reflecting going on in our home, too, during this time of lockdown. Drawing near to God is how we are able to maintain a positive outlook. Thanks for reading!


  5. Oh Girl … you are speaking my language in this post. God has been talking to me about finding gratitude in Him Himself and not His gifts. Beautiful post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a good reminder that we are to find (and seek) delight in the Lord! I once heard a message preached about the “desires of our hearts.” The pastor said something along these lines: When we are seeking God and walking in obedience, and yielding to the Spirit, then the desires of our heart come in line with God’s will. Our desires are His desires.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Summer, I really enjoyed this reflection on delighting in the Lord just for who He is. It took me a long time to be able to bask in His glory with no agenda, and it has been liberating. Thanks for inspiring me today with this reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been reading through Psalms over a month now. This prompts me to go back and delight in His Word again. Thank you for the encouragement to draw near to Him and to delight in His faithfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love your reminder to delight in things which have no end. So powerful! My word for the year has been abundance. God laid it on my heart as a reminder that anything we lack, God holds in abundance it’s been an eye-opening intention. Definitely see a lot of what I’ve learned mirrored here in your look at Christian’s delight!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a fantastic post! I love John Piper’s focus on this Scripture and that when our delight is in the Lord, our desires change to be what He wants too. So good!

    Liked by 1 person

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