From Dust to Delight (2)
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“I will run the way of thy commandments,
when thou shalt enlarge my heart.”
Psalm 119:32, KJV
In this same psalm, the writer’s soul lay in the dust and melted with heaviness. Depression withered his heart. But, now, his heart is renewed to the point of running instead being face down in the dust. What has happened?
- He prayed,
- believed God heard his prayer,
- and where he once ate dust, now he feasted on manna from heaven—the word of God.
- He chose the truth of God rather than the lies of the world.
Where once, as my dad would say, “He was lower than a snakes belly,” now his heart blew up bigger than a hot air balloon with the joy of the Lord. His circumstances may not have changed, but his perspective did.
Before the word was written, the psalmist chose the way of the writer of Hebrews.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight and sin
which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Hebrews 12:1, KJV
The call rang out across the field, “Get ready. Get set. Go!” My eyes did not leave the 50 yard goal line. My 8 year-old mind fixated on the silver dollar waiting for the winner. I didn’t look to the right or left—always ahead—with my skinny long legs pumping at the speed of light(an exaggeration noted). As I crossed the finish line, my lungs burned and my legs felt like a bowl of jelly. Neither mattered. I won the silver dollar. The prize was worth the pain.
My race was a sprint.
The one we run as followers of Christ is a marathon,
filled with obstacles along the way,
and challenges which perfect our race, making us stronger.
In my race, only one received the prize,
but in the Christian race
there is a prize for all who make Christ our goal—
He is the prize.
Let’s take the first step and lift our heads up from the dust and say with Paul and the writer of Hebrews—
“I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus …
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
Philippians 4:14; Hebrews 12:2, KJV
When the race seems to never end, your lungs begin to burn, and your spirit turns to jelly, remember the Lord enlarges your heart to receive—
Strength for the race: “Then he said unto them,
- Go your way,
- eat the fat,
- and drink the sweet,
- and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared;
for this day is holy unto our Lord:
- neither be ye sorry;
for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10, KJV
The love of God as your motivation: The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
Jeremiah 31:3, KJV
His promise of a prize: “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion
- with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:
- they shall obtain joy and gladness,
- and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10, KJV
When we run the way of Jesus, according to his word, in obedience to the Father, he inflates our hearts to receive all we need to run our race with joy—for he is our rejoicing. He raises us up from the dust into his delight.
One more promise:
“But my God
shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19, KJV
What will you rejoice in today? Write it down. Think on it. And delight in the Lord with rejoicing. If you will, share your rejoicing in the comments that others might rejoice with you.