4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.

Psalm 43:4

God and joy don’t come in the same thought for most people. Spiritual matters are serious matters. We find our joy somewhere else. It may be in buying nice things, going on vacation, or just the weekly football game. All of us are on the hunt, looking for pleasure in created things. This was not the case for Jonathan Edwards. He said that God was his good and that the only joy that can satisfy a man’s heart is spiritual joy. Many years ago I read his biography, and in it I found this statement that has effected me more than any words outside of the scripture.
“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the ocean.”
Those words rocked my world. Suddenly, I saw it. My life wasn’t about His gifts, it was about Him. He was the source of all happiness, the enjoyment of God Himself was the purpose that I was born to fulfill. It wasn’t about money, houses, numbers, success, or even about family. It was all about Him. He wanted to reveal His greatness to me and through me for my pleasure and His Glory. The horrible yoke of human achievement was broken from off of my neck, I was free for the pursuit of real pleasure, pleasure found only in Him. No more chasing shadows, no more worries about accomplishments, no longer needing to please man. Today, this freedom can be yours. Where can you find it? You find it by leaving behind the pursuit of “shadows” and start enjoying the substance. All of those good things in life are from Him, they are not the source of our pleasure, all they are, are signs pointing us toward God, our exceeding joy.


  1. One of Edwards’ quotes that I find validating one’s faith is: “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.”

  2. right on brother i was thinking the other day on very simular to this of being lead and letting the lord do it threw us lord willing im going deer hunting this week it is going to be a blessing because a few i hunt with retured to the lorde they knew him when they were kids now in their 50s and 6os they realised nothing can have any meaning outside of god this is all very recent on my frien d and his sonkeep them in prayer deer hunting is now a double blessing i have new brothers and the lord will be in the center dave woke up that nothing would satisfy him or his son outside of Jesusthere are more hunters out there i know real well many went to sunday school as kids dave has shared with some he is a testimony of only the lord can really satisfy he is very well off in material things had it all together with one of the biggest ranchs in this part of arkansas he always felt so much was missing he was right nothing can really satisfy only walking and knowing himand having fellowship unhindered with our lord Randy

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