Security and Joy

Yesterday, I went outside to water my freshly seeded front lawn. My neighbors were returning from walking their dogs, enjoying a glass of white wine and the 70 degree, sunny evening. I said something like, “Perfect day – doesn’t get much better than this, does it.” It was, indeed, a very good afternoon. The suburban utopia of Parker did not disappoint.

As I finished my cliché greeting, however, I realized that I didn’t even believe what I was saying. As I thought about it, two major problems arose: 

1) The world is not always a perfect, suburban utopia. In fact, I have multiple friends who have lost jobs, gotten sick, and buried loved ones during this time.

2) Even when the world is seemingly perfect, I’m always longing for something more.

You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:7-8

David writes Psalm 4 as his name is being dragged through the mud. He is a good king, a man after God’s own heart, a refreshing alternative to Saul, a faithful leader, a successful warrior. Yet he is going through a trial entirely out of his control. He is experiencing the fact that the world is not perfect, and we cannot guarantee happiness in this life.

Even still, David acknowledges the times of abounding “grain and wine.” There are seasons in his life that he receives everything he could ever ask for. Yet, he knows that even during the best seasons of his life, his soul longs for a joy that wealth cannot provide.

We need the gospel: a worldview big enough to address the two major problems plaguing our suburban utopia. We need to recognize the promises of the gospel as our eternal security (Christ has overcome the world!) and our boundless joy (“I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ”). 

Two applications:

Take heart in your trials! You have the blood of Christ guaranteeing a bright future. Don’t lose hope.

Enjoy your “grain and wine”! Let their sweetness bring to your imagination the glories of the New Jerusalem and the joy of seeing your God face to face.