Psalm 16,11

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George Cox

Text:         Psalm 16:11

Title:         Are you filled with joy?


I.       Introduction

Are you happy? Is your life joy-filled? Are you overflowing with joy?

Would you like your life to be this way - filled with joy?

God's Word for today takes us on a voyage towards a joy-filled life ...

A.    Title - Are you filled with Joy?

B.    Text - Psalm 16:11

You have made known to me the path of life;  

      you will fill me with joy in your presence,  

     with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

C.    Proposition

The path of life leads us into the presence of God which fills us with joy

D.    Opening Illustration

Bruce Almighty - "Signs on the path of life"

II.     Body

   What path are you on?

Is it the path that takes you into the presence of God ... the joy-filled path?

Or is it some other path .... leading to who-knows-where?  How can we tell?

A.    What is Joy?

Joy is a gift from God - it is delight in life - our response to knowing we are on the right path of life. Note: Joy is not a "feeling" ... joy is more than mere 'happiness' ... real joy comes from outside us - it is what happens when we realize we are known by God - loved by God.

I can be suffering, homeless, struggling with life - and yet be filled with joy! David, in the verse before this verse, confesses that God will NOT abandon him ... even in death. And this fills David with joy! David realizes that if he is in the mind of the eternal God, the Lord, then he is eternally with God - and David is filled with joy.

So, we first asked a question: What is joy? Then we discovered an answer - it is a gift from God, more than mere happiness, a desire for life.

B.    How can I experience this Joy?

Drawing closer to God. In the presence of the Lord, we are "filled with joy".  The second line of this verse tells us this ... we are filled with joy in your - God's - presence.

I can't speak for everyone here today, but sometimes, I wonder why I'm not closer with God ... why God seems so distant to me. Why I can't hear God's voice in prayer like I could last week. Then I remember this verse - that life is a path leading to God. If I can't see God, can't hear God, can't feel God's presence - then maybe I'm on the wrong path.

     Backpacking in the Sierra's Illustration - Choosing the right path

Remember what God has revealed to us: His path  - the path of life - carries us into the presence of God.  If we want to draw closer to God, we have to examine our lives, what path we are on. We need to repent of all "wrong turns" - our sins - and return to God's path of life.

C.    Why do I need God's presence to know Joy?

Eternal pleasure can only be experienced through intimate fellowship with the Eternal Lord.

Notice what was said there - eternal pleasure & joy requires the presence of the eternal Lord.  I might catch a glimpse of God and feel joy - but is that being filled with joy? No!

You might know someone who was baptized, received the Holy Spirit and joy, and then for whatever reason stopped coming to church. Is their life still filled with joy? of course not!

The way to secure our joy - to keep it for all eternity - is to rest in the presence of the Lord.  As our Scripture says, "the eternal pleasure of your right hand."

Who's at the right hand of the Father? Jesus Christ - resurrected to eternal life, ascended in Glory to sit with the Father.

Father and Son, eternally in each other's presence. This is what fills me with joy according to the text.  David realized that nothing he did could bring him eternal joy - it was what his Lord did that secured David's joy.

III.    Conclusion

Picture, for a minute, a believer - someone who has turned over their entire life to Christ. Every day - every moment of every day - is spent walking beside their Lord. It is an intimate walk of lovers ... and it is filled with joy.

This believer knows our essential truth for today:

The path of life leads us into the presence of God which fills us with joy.

Are you that lover, walking with your beloved?

If not, ask yourself if you are on the right path - God's path of life?

You'll know if you are because of the joy that fills your life.

Joy despite the bills that are due; joy despite the stress at work;

joy despite the challenges of raising kids today.

Joy - because God gave you a sign to keep you on the path of life - a sign of Joy.

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