The Dangerous Duty Of Delight
September 25, 2016 Speaker: Kris Stire
Topic: Suffering Passage: Psalm 37:4–37:4
Psalm 37 is centered on the age-old problem of why the righteous suffers while the wicked prosper. David instructs the righteous not to be anxious or envious (v. 1) over the apparent prosperity of the wicked who reject God and delight in worldly, sinful pleasures. The success of the wicked is superficial and does not last (vv. 2, 35-36), because in the end, God’s retribution is just and final (vv. 9, 13, 38). Verse 4 provides insight into how the righteous might fight the temptation to sinfully find satisfaction in the world rather than in God. As we grow to truly delight in the Lord, it further aligns our desires with God’s enabling us to joyfully find satisfaction in God through our life and ministry, bringing God all the more glory.
I. How can we engage in the dangerous duty of delight? (An examination of Psalm 37:4)
“In the Lord” (1 Timothy 6:8-10, 17; Psalm 37:16) =
Psalm 32:11, “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you are upright in heart!”
(Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:4; 1 Peter 1:8)
“Desires” (Psalm 20:5; 73:28; James 1:25; Psalm 84:11; 145:19; 16:11) =
II. Three practical “duties” to delight in the Lord and be satisfied.
1. Look Up: to the person of God. (Ephesians 1:17-19a)
“The Cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough for its sparks to fall on us.” (John Stott)
“We make time for what we truly value. We build habits and routines around the things that really matter to us. This is an important principle to understand as we seek to build our lives around the gospel. Do you want a cross centered life? A cross centered life is made up of cross centered days.” (C. J. Mahoney)
2. Look Forward: to the promises of God. (Psalm 37:34; 42:5; Romans 5:5; 15:13)
3. Look Around: to the purposes of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 14:18; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; Hebrews 12:28)
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” - C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, 1-2