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Would This Make us Happy?

Photo by: Tom Blackwell

When are we really happy? What do we thoroughly enjoy doing? Under what conditions are we tempted  to say, “this is heaven”.

I ask because I’ve been thinking about what David said about “Delighting in the LORD.” In the 37th Psalm he said, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart?” (Psalm 37:4).

Want to be careful, because  troubled, unhealthy, and unstable people are sometimes recognized by having a smile on their face either all the time, or at the most inappropriate moments.

Maybe that’s one reason I’m intrigued with what he says about “delighting ourselves in the LORD”. David knew how to be sad, how to cry, and how to be angry. His songs are full of all kinds of bad days and real emotion. He doesn’t seem to be a mugshot with a smile kind of person.

So when I hear him say, “Delight yourselves in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” I’m quite sure that he is not asking us to not feel our losses or to stop being realistic about what’s happening to us… and those we love.

Yet he begins this song saying, don’t worry about bad people, don’t envy those who do wrong.

If David could stop by our house today, or if we could spend our noon or work break with him… if we had a chance to tell him what it is that is weighing us down, do you think he would still say, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart?” Would he have to admit that in our situation, this advice really isn’t what we need to hear? Or would he say, something like, “You know what, I wrote this for people who were facing something similar…”

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30 Responses to “Would This Make us Happy?”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Enjoyed a good smile at the pig picture (Happy as a pig in slop), good way to begin.

    I have always been comforted by the Psalms. David or whomever wrote them all seem to have had a subject that touches and sooths that tormented spirit in us all, just as they did for Saul.

    I have learned that everything in life is temporary, as Solomon wrote, to every thing there is a season. So it is with happiness and its opposite sadness.

    So it is with being comforted, it is a band aid against the wound that helps the open wound scab over until it becomes a scar.

    When well meaning people try to comfort with little bits of scripture, their intentions are good and their effort is appreciated, but only God call heal a broken heart.

    Being happy is very temporary and each smile or contentment is often followed by a frown or some calamity. This is why we long for our concept of heaven where there is no tears or calamities, only peace, joy, and happiness provided by the Lord.

    If I place myself completely in God’s will, then that unknown will becomes the desire of my heart, and I can trust that His will is far more wiser and best for me and I can take comfort in this and even be happy with what ever God puts in my way.

    Not my vision, but His for my happiness and my future, and the happiness and future of those I love.

    48 degrees and clear skies this morning.


  2. Charis says:

    Well, the relationship between Christ and the Church is referred to in terms of marriage. What does “delight” look and feel like in marriage? When do I say “this is heaven”?

    Psalms and the freely expressed emotions of the Psalmist was very healing for me. Often I have pressed into God with intense pain, confusion, anger and have felt His peace that passes understanding, deep comfort, and great joy despite the circumstances not changing a bit. Psalm 63 is the one to which I have returned the most.

    Thanks Mart. Keep up the good work!

    Love, Charis

  3. BruceC says:

    This topic reminds me of a sermon I heard once on TV by a well known Pastor and teacher.
    The words “happy” and “happiness” come from the word happenstance. Basically it is an emotional feeling we get when something good happens to us in our life. Joy is something we can have even when things aren’t going so good. Many don’t see the difference. The world speaks of happiness and Christ speaks of inner joy in a relationship with Him. The joy of knowing that someday we will be with Him for all time.
    The yearnings of a believers heart are peace and fulfullment and when we trust(delight) in Christ we will see those yearnings come to pass here and in the Kingdom. Just my take on it.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  4. Toml5169 says:

    Trust, delight, commit and be still. All these words are admonitions of David in the first verses of this song. He then tells us not to fret over evil doers. While there are things on this earth that bring me great happiness they are very circumstantial and thus fleeting. The psalmist

  5. Toml5169 says:

    Sorry, I am typing on my phone and accidentally posted. David focuses on the Lord and finally asks us to be still; wait and watch as God delivers, heals, trains and even rescues us because of our delight and trust in Him. I am not currently in a happy time of my life but I am in a time of great trust and making myself be still. I am also delighting in the fact I know God has me where I need to be. I may not be happy but I can still delight myself in the Lord.

  6. tha.khoza says:

    from the Psalms i get the idea that david was a very open kinda guy and yet in all his up-and-down kind of writings he always went back to one fundamental thing – God and his love, grace and sovereignty. so i’d like to think that if i were to spend my lunch hour with david he would encourage me to be open with God about my feelings – how i feel let down by him, or how i’m frustrated by my boss, or how i’m having questions about life in general. but also not to end there, but to return to the fundamentals – that God is sovereign and his love endures forever. gradually i’m realising that perhaps i’m too focused on the {eternally unnecessary} details of my life. and that if only i’d seek God and delight in him regardless of my circumstances then maybe i might be at a better place.

  7. dja says:

    I remember going to a conference long ago and the speaker did a study on Psalm 142. It begins with”I cry out to the Lord with my voice;” and verse 2 says”I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.” I love the Psalms and read them all the time, but this particular Psalm was and is an encouragement to me to go to the One Who knows me and my situation inside out. And as Charis said, ” have felt His peace that passes understanding, deep comfort, and great joy despite the circumstances not changing a bit.”

    Years ago we were members of a church where people (especially the women) always smiled despite the circumstances. This is not reality, and, I believe, it has caused many to turn away. Being a stoic and quoting Scripture is not a comfort to people who are hurting.

    I think if King David were to stop by he would be understanding as Mart wrote,” “You know what, I wrote this for people who were facing something similar…” That’s why I am always so blessed by the Psalms-He wrote as he felt-He had many hurting situations and lamented about them, but then he shows us where we need to be AND with confidence proclaims the Lord’s goodness. He shows us where our help comes from (Psalm 121), but he shows us as one hurting human to another. I believe this is how we need to be with one another.

    It’s a lovely day in NEPA!

  8. tha.khoza says:

    I’ve just read another version of this scripture: Psalm 37
    1-2 Don’t bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
    In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings
    and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.

    3-4 Get insurance with God and do a good deed,
    settle down and stick to your last.
    Keep company with God,
    get in on the best.

    5-6 Open up before God, keep nothing back;
    he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
    He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
    and stamp you with approval at high noon.

    7 Quiet down before God,
    be prayerful before him.
    Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
    who elbow their way to the top.

  9. poohpity says:

    I believe if we delight ourselves in the Lord then the desire of our hearts would be to do the will of God. It seems, David as a young man before all the hype of being a king, delighted in the Lord and trusted God. I wonder if that was not the reason the Lord chose him because he knew that Davids desire was to be a man after God’s own heart. David’s honesty about the torment, depression, struggles and joy as well as all the other emotions he experienced show his realness before God. He did not have to wear a mask or elevate his importance beyond what was really there. I think David would have prompted us to be open to tell God everything in our hearts because God already knows anyway it is before people that we try and hide the real us.

    Good illustration with the pig because people often think that pigs like to be in filth when the opposite is true. It seems that the reason pigs like to roll in mud is because the sun burns their skin, bugs bite them and the mud protects it. They delight in the mud because it covers them and that would be a very good reason to delight in the Lord because in that relationship it covers and protects us as well.

  10. rbuitron says:

    I wanted your take on the so-called “prepper” movement, where individuals and families are stocking up on food, converting their assets to precious metals, and learning and teaching their children how to use guns. They are doing this to prepare for the predicted economic and social collapse of the US. Christians in this movement often use Proverbs 22:3, that they are seeing evil coming and preparing themselves. What wouldn’t the money spent hoarding be better used to advance the gospel?

  11. poohpity says:

    I would ask “how does that fit in with the rest of scripture?”. One for example Matthew 6:19-20

  12. poohpity says:

    Another would be Luke 12:18-21

  13. poohpity says:

    Mart, I would disagree with the statement “Want to be careful, because troubled, unhealthy, and unstable people are sometimes recognized by having a smile on their face either all the time, or at the most inappropriate moments.” As an example I would like to use my son during confrontational times in his life he smiles when nervous and I have not considered him as troubled, unhealthy, or unstable but that is my opinion as his mom and I know his heart. When he is sad he displays sadness and his expression are usually congruent except when he is confronted especially if the confrontation is not justified.

  14. petros says:

    As I sat there, alone, broken and lost, wretched and cold, how could I approach him after all of my failures. I don’t know how I got the courage to pray that very first prayer, but there was no other choice, I had nothing left. I could barely utter the words; “help me!”. And even then it seemed that those simple words might be too little too late, but yet, I sensed a presence that I’d never experienced before.

    A few days later as I was learning to crawl as a 40 year old baby Christian, I came across Luke 23:43 where it reads; And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.

    Sure, I’d heard it before and even read it before, But this time, it was as if He were saying it directly to me.

    That was the very first time I can recall delighting in the Lord. Delighting in His mercy!

    But enter the Judaizers, and I would be very quickly bewitched, into turning my back on God’s grace and, trying to gain an even deeper understanding of the Law and in so doing, once again convincing myself, and and trying to convince others that I could keep the Law!

    In my BC days, and with anger and malice I had from time to time told a few people of a place where they could go! But now as a “Christian”, I had truth on my side and I was being taught that it was my job to tell people that they were headed to that very same place if they didn’t do as I was doing!

    Then one evening, I had invited Jesus to join our small group in our home for our designated night of religious observances. I soon found myself looking with great contempt upon a marginal believer that was causing quite a ruckus and distracting us all from our searching of the scriptures.

    That must be what Mary Magdalene was like! I thought to myself. Then I heard our Lord command in a gentle yet authoritative voice, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I DESIRE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE’ “.

    So I have spent the years since then learning more about how merciful or full=of-mercy, God really is. That he DELIGHTS in mercy, that he wants us to be full-of-mercy just as he is full-of-mercy, that rather than what so often is claimed to be the worst type of sin being eluded to in the latter verses of Romans chapter 1, is not what is often preached, but actually that of being; not-full-of-mercy, or unmerciful v31.

    And I would further suggest that we all have a common plank in our eyes that must be removed before we can ever hope to truly help a brother or sister remove a splinter from their own eye. The plank of being; not-full-of-mercy. And as Jesus said; blessed are those that are full-of-mercy, for they will receive mercy!

  15. poohpity says:

    petros, just beautiful!!!:-)

  16. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Trying to be happy reminds me of something I read which I can’t remember accurately but was something along the lines of:

    An old man was telling a young man how he searched and searched for happiness but it always eluded him. However, one day he was watching a cat running in a circle trying to catch its tail. After a while the cat gave up and walked away. The old man said, “it occcured to me that happiness is like the cat’s tail. As long as I chased after it, it was just out of reach, but when I forgot about it, it followed me wherever I went.”

    “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give You the desires of your heart.” Meaning no one and nothing else is truly the desire of your heart.

    “Thou hast created us for Thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.” St. Augustine

  17. alegria says:

    Thanks for all of you who prayed for our family cabin vacation. Your prayers were answered.

    Happiness…….if you define it as the world does, it’s so ephemeral. Here one day, gone the next.

    I agree with Bruce that there is a real difference between happiness and joy. Joy is resting in God – even when life is tough. David experienced the joy of pouring out all his thoughts to God. God, who called David a man after his own heart, listened with mercy and love to all David’s complaints – then helped him refocus. So many of the “complaint” psalms begin with the current predicament and end with David praising the God who sees, cares, and never forsakes those who trust in Him.

    That’s the God I need to cling to today. Pam

  18. Mart De Haan says:

    Poohpity, I should have been more specific. Was thinking of those who have had a break with reality, or who delight in harming others.

  19. poohpity says:

    Thank you for the clarification, now I understand.

  20. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Hope all is well in your lives.
    Off topic…
    I had every intention to stop by my favorite blog site earlier today, but you know how that goes! lol! Will have another busy day tomorrow, but I hope to be able to stop by and share my thoughts on this blog topic before the day ends. Going to a picnic tomorrow hosted by my church, and I’m looking forward to it.

    Sunny and warm today in Texas (86 degrees right now).

    Love to all,

  21. SFDBWV says:

    While at prayer this morning it occurred to me that my prayers are for the desires of others, or my desire for them. Philippians 4: 4-7 is a complimentary verse of scripture to Psalms 37, that tells us to make our requests be known to God.

    As I pondered this thought I realized my desires are unknown to me with the exception of the desires I have for others and the desire to be immersed in God’s will for every matter of my life.

    It is an eye opener to believe that whatever you ask of God, He just might give you what you ask for, so all of a sudden what you ask for becomes very serious.

    We talk all the time about self examination; nothing could be more revealing than looking at the desires of our hearts. What are they? Are they selfish or generous towards others? Who benefits from them?

    It is no wonder that Jesus instructed us to ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    I have a string of prayer requests that I ask for others, then ask that God’s will be done for them in all matters, as God’s will is the best desire I can have for anyone, especially myself.

    49 degrees this morning, and clear.


  22. alegria says:

    For me it’s hard for me to know sometimes if my desires are coming from selfish motives or truly have God’s best for me in mind. So I just pray about whatever comes to mind and let God sort out what’s best for me.

    I love it when He answers one of those prayers that seem to be “me centered”……just for the delight of giving me something a loving father would want to give his child. For example: When we moved from AL it IN, I lost a gorgeous view from my kitchen window – foothills of the Appalachians. It lifted me up whenever I was doing dishes. I asked God to give me something pretty to look in the new house. It’s not as spectacular, but we have some woods in back of the house, and I get to see the squirrels taunt the dogs, and the cardinals flit from tree to tree. God didn’t have to do that for me, but He did. I’m thankful.

    Lovely day here in INdy today. Going to go help me daughter make biscuits for the 3 girls slumbering in the family room. Pam

  23. poohpity says:

    Mart, you made a very good point when people are opening their hearts the last thing they need is advice. That was one of the most important parts of learning how to listen. I think the wonderful things about the Psalms was David shared his heart to God trusting that the Lord would take care of him. His open honesty exposed his wounds and I bet he never in a million years ever thought we would be reading his journal thousands of years later and finding comfort that someone else understands the pains and struggles we go through. It is so healing to be able to share openly and honestly with out someone trying to fix your problems. Sometimes we just need a listening ear and an understanding heart.

  24. poohpity says:

    God has them both!!

  25. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon All

    Mart asked, “If David could stop by our house today, or if we could spend our noon or work break with him… if we had a chance to tell him what it is that is weighing us down, do you think he would still say, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart?”

    Yes. I think David would still say, “Delight yourself in the LORD…” because I’m sure he said it to himself on numerous occasions when he had to endure trials and tribulation. Also believe that if we could be transported back in time and found ourselves in a trial with David, he would still be a source of encouragement and strength.
    Am convinced of his willingness to encourage himself and others because of what happened to him at Ziklag.

    1 Samuel 30:3-6, NIV
    3 When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.
    4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
    5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
    6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. *But David found strength in the LORD his God.*

    Sunny and HOT in Texas today (101 degrees right now).

  26. bubbles says:

    Paul speaks of being content in whatever state he was in. Maybe it is more important to be content with whatever than to focus on happiness.

    I struggled with something that was making me unhappy back in the winter. It is still there. I had forgotten to focus on being content. That was sin. I had to be reminded by a dear friend I needed to be content. When I did, there was peace.

    The situation is the same and I am still very unhappy. But, I am quietly content. I cannot and will not allow what is causing me to be unhappy to control my thoughts.

  27. poohpity says:

    I believe that is why Job’s friends were confronted by God because rather than offer advice it would have been nice if they had comforted Job by allowing him to pour out his heart just as David did to God. Advice does not bring peace or comfort because when one is in a difficult situation one could not know what another would do walking in their shoes. To me it really shows someone cares when they just listen as God does when we pour out our heart to Him. David cried out to the Lord for many years before there was a solution to his cares.

  28. royalpalm says:

    Hello, BTA friends,

    A lot of our unhappinesss arise from looking at others especially the wicked, and their “seemingly prosperous and easy ways” and looking at ourselves and finding nothing much except struggles and sorrows. This often results in envy, discontent, self pity, and doubt.

    In Psalms 37 and Psalms 73, God reminds us through David that His continued presence with us is our guarantee that all is well regardless of our circumstances. Real happiness or joy comes from knowing that we belong to God and He will take care of our present and future needs. These 2 Psalms are written to encourage and help us overcome despair, discontent, envy, and impatience.

    Psalm 37:4 (NKJV) states, ” Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
    While the wicked delights in their sinful activities to acquire what they desire, David advises us to delight also in our Lord and He will also give the desires of our heart.

    Psalm 73: 23-26 “Nevertheless I am continually with You;
    You hold me by my right hand.
    24 You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.
    25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
    And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
    26 My flesh and my heart fail;But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

    Here’s the true source of joy, peace, and contentment!

  29. royalpalm says:

    Hello, Alegria(Pam) re your previous post…

    It would be a pleasure and blessing to have you in our Bible study. Our groups also pray for, and help each other. Reading your posts,, I would also like to join Bible studies where you and those who post at BTA attend: Poohpity, Regina, Gary, Bruce, Davids, Bob, Cherielyn, Ray, Tom…etc,etc,etc (Sorry I can’t type everyones name…)I learn a lot from your spiritual insight.

  30. Regina says:

    SO glad to be able to share what I’ve learned in my spiritual walk with you, royalpalm! :-) I, too, have received strength and spiritual enlightenment from so many dear brothers & sisters on this (BTA) blog site!

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