LONGING FOR GOD
Your view of God profoundly influences all areas of your life – your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. A. W. Tozer observed, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Psalm 84 presents a cogent picture of a man whose view of God resulted in a deep longing to be with God:
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. — Psalm 84:10
He realized that the lowest place in God’s house was better than the highest position among the godless. His high view of God was the reason why he longed to be with God:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. –Psalm 84:11
The Psalmist compared God to the sun that guides our way in the darkness. Jesus described Himself as the light of the world:
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” — John 8:12
Why should we fear the dark, when we have the Son of God to guide our way? God not only guides our way, but He is also our defense. The word shield occurs almost twenty times in the book of Psalms. The Psalmist then moved from who God is, to what He provides for us – grace and glory. Grace may be thought of as God’s unmerited favor. God blesses us even when we don’t deserve to be blessed.
The word glory is another common word in the Psalms. It comes from a root word that means heavy or weighty and this word conveys the idea of glory, honor, or abundance. What does it mean that God gives glory? The astute Bible student may think of Isaiah 42:8 as God declared, “I will not give My glory to another”. Through our spiritual union with Christ, we can experience the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. God shares His glory with those who are in Christ that we might manifest Him to the world:
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; — John 17:22
We have the privilege and responsibility of reflecting the glory of God to the world. Finally we see that God does not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly. This may seem like an idealistic statement as we consider the hardships we face on a regular basis. We must realize that hardships can be be God’s instruments to strengthen us and develop our faith. When we believe in the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, then we know that what happens to us is happening for us. This promise is available to those who walk uprightly.