Psalm 43:4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

All of us are looking for the same thing, all we want is some enjoyment in our lives. Most people don’t realize it, but the theme of the Bible is the pursuit of joy. The common thought is that religion is the denial of joy in our lives, nothing could be further from the truth. All through the ages spiritual men and women have found that true joy, the most extreme joy, is found in God. David spoke of “exceeding joy”. This phrase describes someone literally spinning in circles of joy. Peter spoke about an unspeakable joy or a joy beyond his ability to put into words. Sarah Edwards, the wife of Jonathan Edwards had an encounter with God that brought her out of depression into a place of radical joy. Listen to her powerful description of what happened to her.

“I continued in a sweet and lively sense of divine things, until I retired to rest. That night, which was Thursday night, Jan. 28,1740, was the sweetest night I ever had in my life. I never before, for so long a time together, enjoyed so much of the light, and rest, and sweetness of heaven in my soul, but without the least agitation of body during the whole time. The great part of the night I lay awake, sometimes asleep, and sometimes between sleeping and waking. But all night I continued in a constant, clear, and lively sense of the heavenly sweetness of Christ’s excellent and transcendent love, of his nearness to me, and of my dearness to him; with an inexpressibly sweet calmness of soul in an entire rest in him. I seemed to myself to perceive a glow of divine love come down from the heart of Christ in heaven, into my heart, in a constant stream, like a stream or pencil of sweet light. At the same time, my heart and soul all flowed out in love to Christ; so that there seemed to be a constant flowing and reflowing of heavenly and divine love, from Christ’s heart to mine; and I appeared to myself to float or swim, in these bright, sweet beams of the love of Christ, like the motes swimming in the beams of the sun, or the streams of his light which come in at the window. My soul remained in a kind of heavenly elysium. So far as I am capable of making a comparison, I think that what I felt each minute, during the continuance of the whole time, was worth more than all the outward comfort and pleasure, which I had enjoyed in my whole life.”

Sarah said she was floating in the beams of God’s love. That is the place of total satisfaction. When God is my satisfaction that experience shouts out the Glory of God. That kind of joy shows the superiority of the Christian life to the life of carnal pursuits of joy in this life. Maybe you have been sad or despondent, effected by the circumstances of this life. It happens to all of us. There is a place of extreme joy that will more than satisfy your thirsty soul. Like David said, “I will go to the altar of God, my exceeding Joy”.


  1. It’s amazing the simplicity of living a happy life but the fight between the flesh will prevent it. People spend there whole lives searching in materialistic things, drugs , sexual immorality etc. to just lay there head down at night to the same thing. That was me ,a slave to the world. It hit me one day when I met a couple in there 50’s who bought a half a million dollar house , new cars etc. and he told me its not worth it he feals like a slave. The door opened for me to touch on this subject carefully. He broke down and cried and begin to tell me the only time he was ever happy was when he was walking with the Lord. The man just lost everything but he said he’s happier then ever since drawing near to God. He had everything the flesh could desire but inside he knew he wasn’t happy and realized he wouldn’t be until yielding to Him. Philipians 1:6 promises that once we start something we can run and hide but God will finish what we started with Him. I love my Jesus.

  2. As I read psalms 43 I hear David crying out to God at first about the dire circumstances he finds himself in (verse 1) and asking several questions (verse 2). I sense these questions bring to mind who God is to David. Then David recognizes he wants some face to face time with God and asks God to guide him to that place where they can commune (verse 3).
    Now we are at today’s blog scripture. To me – I hear David stating what he will do when he meets with God; what he has always done when in God’s presence. What I do not hear or sense is a person reviewing the check list of ‘what to do when in a crisis’. This is not a person performing some mindless or ‘mechanical’ ritual. This is not ‘doing church’ or religion.
    In my days before my salvation I related rules to church and church to God – religion. I realize, now that I have a relationship with God, I NEVER think about rules. In fact for me there are no rules but rather letting Him guide me knowing He shall lead me from all temptation and down paths of righteousness! I am free, filled with joy and have life like never before. Odd that when I stray from away, even a bit, I begin to become legalistic! (good to know my warning sign)
    I stand with David and proclaim, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.” Empty hands raised high \o/ Mark Stephen

    1. I would like to clarify “In fact for me there are no rules”. God’s commandments still stand. I don’t run around worried about doing this or not doing that any more rather fI walk with Him – FREEDOM. I do not want to mislead anyone into thinking that we are free do whatever we please.
      Romans 6:1,2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

  3. The more we are in God’s presence the more we are changed into His likeness and we become more joyful. We need to continually be thirsty for His presence and spend more time in fellowship with our heavenly Father. As we abide in Christ our lives stay full of His peace and joy. Press into His presence today and experience joy overflowing!!!

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