“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” (Ps. 4:7-8).
Harvest time was an occasion for rejoicing and celebration, the evidence of God’s favor and the assurance of provision for another season.
“From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine” (Gen. 27:28).
David’s prayer is that the rejoicing in his heart at the presence of God will be like the rejoicing of others over their harvest. Dancing, singing, swirling, shouting—exuberant rejoicing.
God promises us an inner supply that will bring us joy and assurance. Our new wine is the Spirit Himself filling us with His joy. “Don’t be drunk with wine. ... Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your heart“ (Eph. 5:18-19). Our harvest is a harvest of righteousness: “Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).
God designed us for joy. His Word is filled with promises of joy from beginning to end. Jesus’ personality was marked by joy. If you think of Jesus as stern and stoic, think again.
Jesus told His disciples that He wanted His joy to be in them: “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:11). The Word of God describes Jesus as anointed with joy even more than anyone else. “Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else” (Ps. 45:7).
Joy is God’s design, and He knows how to fill us with His joy that is separate from anything in our circumstances. If others are basing their joy on their harvest of grain and new wine, then they are basing their hope on something capricious and unpredictable. You, harness your joy to the unfailing presence of God.
Father, anoint me with the oil of Your joy. Fill me with the wine of Your Spirit.
“O God, Quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been.” (A. W. Tozer)
By Jennifer Kennedy Dean from The One Year Praying the Promises of God. Dean is executive director of the Praying Life Foundation and is a respected author and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation. Visit prayinglife.org for more information about her ministry.