Many things in life bring me joy. I have told you before of my affinity for food and my love of my granddaughter. Yesterday, I got to experience the joy of my younger three children coming home after a week away. There is great joy when Zachary is able to come home after months of being away with the Marines. I find joy in my work of teaching and coaching. But let's be honest, all of the joy I find in these moments is just that, momentary. It doesn't last. It can't. The food is eaten and gone. My kids will have to leave again. My work becomes a drudgery. Then where is my joy found?
David tells us where it should be:
"Then I will come to the altar of God,
to God, my greatest joy.
I will praise You with the lyre,
God, my God."
David had many joys in his life, too, but David knew that true and lasting joy is found only in God. Specifically, praising at the altar of God. Let's look at that.
The altar of God was the place where people would bring their sacrifice to God. It might be for forgiveness or in obediently giving to Him. As David continues here he tells the type of sacrifice he will be bringing, "the sacrifice of praise." (Hebrews 13:15) He is coming before the altar with his lyre, the harp that David would have played in the fields as a shepherd. His greatest joy was found in singing and playing praises before the altar of God.
As you struggle with finding joy in the momentary, temporary, and fleeting things of this world, take this advice from David and find true, lasting joy in praising your Father in heaven. Praise Him on your own. Praise Him with your voice or instrument of choice. Praise Him with others. Just PRAISE HIM!