I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. … You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-9,11
I believe that the scriptures teach that in general a godly person ought to be a happy person. I’m not saying that godly people aren’t going to be touched by sadness, or frustration, disappointment or anger. On occasion depression may even enter into the life of a godly person. These are all natural and healthy responses to the various trials and traumas that life can throw at us. However, the godly person’s connection with God ought to give them a strength to weather these storms gracefully and to help them retain their joy in the midst of all of life’s stresses, enabling them to more quickly return to being a happy person.
David, in our focus text, seems to be claiming that this reality is true in his own life. “I have set the Lord always before me … Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices.”
The presence of God and the blessings he provides gives a stability to the life, and a sense of security, that nothing can take away. It comes from God and he’s always there. He’s bigger than any trial, he’s stronger than any storm, he’s sweeter that any heartache is bitter, and his Spirit can bring calm in the midst any chaos.
The godly have chosen to live their lives in the presence of this loving, blessing, peace and joy giving God. There’s simply not room for their lives to be perpetually dominated by sadness, anxiety, and anger.
But the same isn’t true of those that are merely pursuing God as a religious obligation or experience. Some people study the scriptures to learn about, or remind themselves of, God and what he requires of them, but the godly study so that they can ensure that they’re more securely anchored to God so that they’ll never be disconnected from his presence.
The knowledge of scripture alone won’t give you the joy and peace that the truth can bring. Jesus gives us an insight into the truth of this statement in John 14:6 when he says, “I am the way and the truth and the life…”. Jesus is the truth and the truth of his word is given to lead us to him so that we can obtain in our connection to him “fullness of joy”.
God’s calling us to himself. He wants us to find in him fullness of joy and eternal pleasures and he wants our lives to be a joyful witness, a happy example, of the kind of lives the weary people in the world would find if they would connect their lives with his.