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”.