God’s light and truth

Psalm 43 strikes me today. The author is again in trouble, praying for God to vindicate and defend, and wondering why He has rejected him. It sounds like so many of my own prayers when I’m in trouble. At least at the start. But then something interesting happens just past the halfway point of the prayer.

Suddenly, the author calls, “Send Your light and truth; let them lead me. Let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to Your dwelling place. Then I will come to the altar of God, to God, my greatest joy. I will praise You with the lyre, God, my God” (vss 3-4 HCSB).

It occurs to me today that, even in times of trouble, the psalmist’s greatest desire was that God’s light and truth would set his course and deliver him into the presence of God. And even if the trouble didn’t go away, even if the external circumstances about him never changed, God and God’s presence would be the source of his greatest joy.

This is a wonderful thing to realize, and yet, how often do I miss it? My prayer in times of trouble is more often vss 1-2, and I leave all the rest out. I want God to do something to fix the situation and demonstrate His power, but I’m not necessarily concerned about getting into His presence.

This needs to change.

Even if things never get better, I need to be resolved to take joy in His light and truth and the fact that it is going out into the world. And I need to follow it myself until I find myself in His presence, where I can encounter – and be filled with – true and ultimate – greatest – joy.

Bottom line today: joy comes from getting into God’s presence, which is made possible only by following God’s light and truth.

So no matter what I’m going through, if I can really get into God’s presence – not just into the faux “God showed up” type presence so many settle for! – He will fill me with joy.


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