A Decisive Delight

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Reading the Bible is a wonderful experience until you arrive at places you don't like to read. Because we tend to approach the Bible as individuals we get selective about what we like and dislike about the Book. 

We also bring with us, insecurities from the past and present. A relevant one for me was my lack of knowledge about the Old Testament. I was scared to read the prophets. Major or minor, I was often majorly confused. Another hesitation I had was with Job. Nice man but must I read the entire account of his suffering? I often read my Bible early in the morning and I prefer to be encouraged and not discouraged by the reading of the Scriptures. 

When I disregard my preferences, and I look to the Bible to guide me, I find that the Bible is much more than a book to fit my ever-changing emotional needs. Paul tells Timothy in his letter about the multifaceted use of Scripture:

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

God inspired all Scripture. Even the parts I'm hesitant to read. While I prefer to be always encouraged by the Bible, God has more than one purpose for it. The Bible is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness so that I may be complete and equipped for every good work.

The book of Job was inspired by God. So were the prophets. So were the passages you will not frame and hang in your living room. The Bible is a book from God and about God. I miss its fullness when I approach it as a book that can fix whatever issue I am facing today. I believe it certainly can but it is so much more. 

I'm not the only Christian who has favorites and therefore least favorite passages in the Bible. I believe this is normal and very human of us. The thing is, we are to be like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which causes me to ask: What if we read the Bible as Jesus read it? 

I want to propose we would discover more than we are currently experiencing. Let's dive a bit deeper as we discover delight. 

Delight is defined as a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment. Delight is pure delectation. When you experience delight you can almost feel yourself being transported to a higher level. 

The first psalm describes a person experiencing what I described to you because of their reading of Scripture. 

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2

If you delight in something, you think about it often, correct? Before you feel guilty about not reading and meditating 'enough', I'm gonna as you to see this not as a formula but as a decision. When I decide to have a heart that wants what God wants, it becomes easier to find my way to the Scriptures. I am a firm believer that everything the word of God touches changes therefore, doing what I read also becomes a decisive delight. 


"I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Ps. 40:8

Reading the Bible is more than reading a boring manual that sits in the glove compartment 40 years after a car was built. It is about learning about the God of the Bible. His character. His acts and His faithfulness. Doing His will can be a delight when we decide to come to His book and embrace what He has to say. 

We live in a day where we are more exposed to what the culture has to say about God than what God has to say about Himself. I find it wise to search your phone stats and see who is guiding you: social media or your Bible.

I am the first one to say that it is a fierce battle. I monitor my hours and I monitor my heart by delightfully deciding I will spend time in God's word daily. 

Before I go to my next point, I want to invite you to experience delight you didn't know existed before. It takes deciding you want something different. It takes courage to leave your current digital media habits. 

"Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction." Ps. 119:92 

I'm glad that the Bible understands we experience problems and afflictions of every kind. I am yet to be embraced by XYZ favorite social media channel and felt completely comforted and assured. Yes, I know people get behind my vague posts and say it's gonna be alright. But do they know?  

I also understand that I can't use my Bible as a prediction tool. I find it fascinating that the Psalmist is connecting delight in Scripture with thriving through affliction. The world is advocating for the opposite. It tells me to embrace empty forms of fulfillment. It tells me to numb my feelings with illicit solutions that will lead to my demise. God's ways are so much higher. There is hope for a life submitted to God's word. Even as we experience affliction we can delight in His word. I saw this as a kid as my grandmother experienced the affliction of cancer. God's law was her delight. I remember people coming long and reminding her of God's words. One day, God took that affliction away supernaturally. I also saw the opposite result yet delight was present. One of my cousins decided to delight in God's word to him. My cousin went to heaven delighting in the word he believed about God. I'm learning I don't have to understand outcomes but I can trust God's Character and word. 

God has more for us than we are currently understanding. I realize I was afraid to read the prophets because I didn't understand what I was reading. Understanding is another gift we gain as we come to Scripture:

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments." His praise endures forever. Ps. 111:10

I am learning that it is okay to pray for understanding. 

"Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart." Ps. 119:34 

The Lord answered my prayer for understanding through an invitation to a Bible Study. The more I went, the more I learned. Soon, my fear of reading the prophets was gone. Then, I noticed I was excited to read passages that had been a mystery previously. No, I haven't found "the key" or completely understand everything. What I did find was guidance as I study the Bible. I learned about historical facts, geography, and even cultural considerations. I went from fearful to fruitful reading of the Holy Scriptures. 

"Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way." Ps. 119:104 

Another unexpected side effect of understanding is discernment. Because of this understanding of God's ways, I am growing in discernment. Recently I unfollowed a podcast that was encouraging me to practice what I consider non-responsible parenting. As in, kids can be harmed if I follow this lady's advice. I loved her content before then. It was relatable, relaxed, and fun. Because I read Scripture, discernment appeared and I decided to unfollow.

I discovered peace as I read the Scriptures. 

"Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble." Ps. 119: 165

I tried to apply this as a formula and it did not work for me. We've all printed the Bible verses about peace only to experience turmoil all day long. Remember that delightful decision to show up and be in God's word day after day? It brings me peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He gives me supernatural peace when I could be experiencing the opposite. Sure, my hands may be trembling as I remind my soul that God is in control. The peace I find in the law of the Lord fill me over and over again. I want to dwell in it. The more I surrender to God's processes, the more I experience His peace.  

I hope the next time you open your Bible and you are faced with a passage or a whole book you don't really prefer, you remember to decisively delight yourself in the Word of God. I know you will experience delight, understanding, and peace.