God Gives More . . .

You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
— Psalm 4:7

How's your joy factor these days?

David was experiencing a good mood of the soul despite his circumstances. He didn't need more stuff or better surroundings to make him happy. God was enough.

Is God enough for you? If not, why not? Perhaps it is because we believe that God does not give enough, or to put it differently, that someone or something can ultimately satisfy us more than God can.

When God said, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3), this was not a prohibition from a petty and jealous God, but rather the dictate of loving Father who knew that his good gifts could never take the place of him.

When we swap praising God for complaining or comparing it is probably because we have replaced the One who gives more with the "more" He gives. In short, we have set up an idol. Martin Luther addresses this: 

Therefore I repeat that the chief explanation of this point is that to have a god is to have something in which the heart entirely trusts... Thus it is with all idolatry; for it consists not merely in erecting an image and worshiping it, but rather in the heart, which stands gaping at something else, and seeks help and consolation from creatures, saints, or devils, and neither cares for God, nor looks to Him for so much good as to believe that He is willing to help, neither believes that whatever good it experiences comes from God. Ask and examine your heart diligently, and you will find whether it cleaves to God alone or not.

When I examine my heart diligently I find that I often cleave to my stuff rather than my God who provides it. Anytime that happens I will inevitably start comparing what I have with what someone else has. But when my heart is fully focused on and satisfied in God, there is no need to look elsewhere because as David points out -- nothing can "out-joy" God.

So now it's our turn to fill in the blank. Resting in God we can say, "You have put more joy in my heart than they have when _____"

  • When their team wins the championship.
  • When they get kuddos from the boss.
  • When they pick up that brand new car.
  • When they get the promotion.
  • When their kids "outshine" mine.
  • When they seem to have the bigger blessing.
  • When . . .

The fact is -- and this is sometimes easier to write than to believe -- God is enough and more than enough for me. Knowing this and resting in this brings joy. God's joy is light years beyond any possession, achievement, or position others may claim, so I need not be jealous of them.

God's joy impacts my waking and my sleeping. This is why David concludes his song by saying,

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
— Psalm 4:8 ESV

God gives more joy . . . in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night. Knowing this, I can rest secure in his love. Philip Bennett Powers captures this so well:

"There is something here which should be inexpressibly sweet to the believer, for this shows the minuteness of God's care, the individuality of his love; how it condescends and stoops, and acts, not only in great, but also in little spheres..."

God gives more joy . . . because He really does love you more. Rest in that today.

_________________

"Therefore I repeat . . . "  comes from an excerpt from Luther's commentary on the first of the Ten Commandments: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). You can readLuther's writing online. Thanks to Mars Hill Church for this quote.

[2] Philip Bennett Power's 'I Wills' Of The Psalms in The Treasury Of David