“I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” – Psalm 16:8,9
Here’s what I do to protect my Joy:
1. I Believe that getting my head and heart in the Word will keep me safe, not from trials, but from doubt, self-pity, and despair. David believes this or he would not have said, “I have set the LORD always before me . . . I shall not be shaken.”
2. I Ask myself, “Do I approve of what God has done for me in Christ and do I embrace his promises for my life?” This is what is meant by saying that the LORD is at David’s right hand. Standing at the right hand is a metaphor for saying, “You stand here because I trust in you and what you are.” David’s heart believes that the Lord is trustworthy to keep the promise of stability – David believes that his life will not be shaken apart.
3. I reject and fight against the lies of the world and my flesh that offer what my heart seeks. My heart naturally wants to know what is the best path of life to take and where are the best pleasures found (vs. 16). The world and my flesh make suggestions a hundred times a day that the best pleasurable life to live is in what money can buy, what porn can give, what selfish ambition can supply, what ego-driven, pride-pumping, and self-congratulation talking can do. I will not set the world and my flesh at my right hand.
4. I do not put my trust in my ability to make myself joyful. That’s a false hope that leaves you gazing at your navel. Here’s why: If I make myself the instrument of supplying and maintaining my joy, it will be short-lived because I can’t remember where I put my keys to the car. And that’s the point! I cannot out-manage my own mis-management of my life, not to mention, life’s mis-management of my life. Look at how many things you simply do not have any say or control in the matter. This is why it is a fool’s errand to think that you can control enough people and things to maintain your joy. I do not make a very good god for myself.
5. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” – (vs. 1). That’s worship. That’s faith. That’s hope. That’s boasting in Jesus Christ that says, “If I had all that this life has to offer for entertainment and security and health, but did not have you, I would have no good thing to enjoy. There really is no good thing without you.”