“Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works… Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.”
The believer is called not only to serve, but to be a witness of Jesus Christ and of His Grace, Mercy, Love, and Power.
The Psalmist says, as You give me understanding of the way of Thy precepts (that is, as You reveal to me the What); and as You make me to go in the path of Your Commandments (that is, as You show me How to perform, as You give me the power to do)…
Then and then only can I:
First: “talk of thy wondrous works” (verse 27b). Then I can be a witness of the Way of Righteousness, Holiness, and Peace. I can tell others of the wondrous works of Christ, the Firstborn, my Head, my Salvation, my Pattern, the Author and Finisher of my Faith, the Anchor of my soul, the Hope of Glory in me, even my Forerunner, who has won the race; and in Him I can know all things, and I can do all things.
God, when You grant me understanding and the power to be a doer of Thy Word; then I can tell others, then I can be a minister (ambassador) of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Also, it is not only that I can be a witness of the Works of Christ; but I shall be (I will be) a witness of Christ, who is The Light of all my understanding of His Office Works as Sacrifice, Substitute, Savior; Great High Priest; that Prophet; and King of kings and Lord of lords.
“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” (Psalms 36:9)
“I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.” (Psalms 145:5)
Second:“for therein do I delight” (verse 35b). Actually doing God’s Will, walking by faith, etc. is the joyful way. God fills each willing and obedient servant with great joy and peace as he walks in the Commandment of Love. Yes, his body may suffer, but his inner man will be renewed day by day. (See the verses below plus Proverbs 21:15; Habakkuk 3:18; Romans 5:11; 14:17; Galatians 5:22.)
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:” (Romans 7:22)
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalms 16:11)
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” (Psalms 126:5)
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:” (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” (James 1:2)
The joy of the believer who is doing the Will of God is not the joy of the flesh, which passeth away. But it is the Joy of the Holy Ghost (in the spirit of the believer):
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)
This Joy of the Spirit comes from God:
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
It is the fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy…” (Galatians 5:22a)
One might ask: How can a person have Joy when he is being persecuted? How can he take delight in trials and tribulations? See Acts 5:41:
“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
How could the Apostles rejoice in having suffered shame for His Name? The answer is:
- “But his delight is in the law of the LORD…” (Psalms 1:2),
- “…O LORD; and thy law is my delight” (Psalms 119:174)
- “I delight to do thy will, O my God…” (Psalms 40:8)
- “…under his shadow with great delight…” (Song of Solomon 2:3)
- “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:” (Romans 7:22)
- “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25)
That is, a person who is regenerated by the Holy Spirit has had the Love of God shed abroad in his heart (Romans 5:3-5); wherein he now loves Christ (his first love) above all things. His fellowship and communion is in the Suffering of Christ (Philippians 3:10). His mind is not on his body or the things of this world; but upon Christ and pleasing Him, no matter the cost. The world’s joy is only for a season:
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Hebrews 11:25)
But the joy of the reward is eternal:
“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” (Hebrews 11:26)
And the believer does not fear the wrath of the kings; “…for he (Moses) endured, as seeing him (Christ) who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).
The believer knows this world is not his home. He is looking for his eternal home; in the Presence of Christ for eternity. He sees “the recompence of the reward.” This life will pass; and then he will be in eternity.
Now that he has a new nature, “…which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24); he has a new will, a new goal, a new home, forever and ever with Christ. His joy is now, in this life, and in the life to come forevermore. This is the opposite of the flesh’s joy, which is now for a season; but misery for all eternity.
The answer therefore, as to how a persecuted believer can have joy is: his joy is Christ living in him; and His Joy is eternal.
Reader, where is your delight? Is it in the Law of the Lord, and in doing His Commandments?