Delighting ourselves in God’s good gifts is an important task for the Christian. As we pursue and involve ourselves in the enjoyment of relationships, food, nature, and all the other wonderful gifts God has given us, you and I can learn how to enjoy God, acknowledging Him as the Giver of all good things. This has to be a deliberate choice because we tend toward an attitude of consumerism in which we just take what’s been made available to us.
But when we pause and learn to delight in these areas, we also learn to delight in God and give proper thanks and admiration. We can worship God while preparing a meal, riding a bike, or listening to a symphony. We delight and give thanks not solely because He gives good gifts but also because He is God.
Over the past fifteen years, I would easily have claimed to have always enjoyed God to one degree or another. The thought of struggling to be glad in God—to find contentment in knowing Him and His goodness and rejoicing in that—was really foreign to me.
Have I always rejoiced in suffering or difficult circumstances perfectly? No. But more times than not, I would have been able to fight through to faith. This particular season, however, was the first time I struggled to do so.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were just around the corner, and I knew this season would be a time of both rejoicing and sorrows. My husband and I had experienced losses in our family—both of our older siblings had passed away. The holidays seemed uniquely grim to me this year. I wasn’t looking forward to all the rejoicing that I knew would be going on around me, but more than that, I was struggling to remember God’s character.
If God is good, why do so many hard things happen?
I could tell you all the theological answers. But I needed more than words—even the good gift of God’s Word. I needed the gift of faith that would come only from the Giver of good gifts—God Himself. I prayed like never before and doubted like never before.
One of the things I kept remembering was that God says He will finish the good work He began in me. If God’s Word is true, then regardless of how much I doubt, He’s not going to leave me there.
As always, the Lord proved faithful. After several months of lamenting, which felt like a decade, the Lord brought me out of that dark season and gave me fresh faith. Why am I sharing this with you? Because I know the idea of finding joy in God and delighting in Him might seem difficult at times, maybe even most times.
Your circumstances or feelings may be clouding the truth of God’s Word. You may not sense His nearness. I understand. There were moments when I wasn’t even sure I was a Christian.
But then the Lord would cause me to fall on my knees yet again in prayer, crying out to Him—reconfirming to me that He has me in the palm of His hand. I’m His daughter, and He will never let me go.
Sometimes God lets us come to the end of ourselves — in order for us to enjoy more of Him. That makes sense to me. When there’s nowhere else to run, we can run to our Savior.
As we look to what it means to enjoy God, we are, in many ways, also losing ourselves. We gain something far greater when we are most concerned and obsessed with the One we’ll be concerned and obsessed with for all eternity.
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Excerpted from Enjoy by Trillia Newbell. Used by permission.
But do you feel free to delight in God’s abundant gifts, or is your joy sometimes distorted by guilt, fear of idolatry, or simply an overwhelming awareness of sin’s effects on this world?
Trillia Newbell explains how we often miss opportunities to participate in God’s divine delight because we’re discouraged, fixated on selfish fulfillment, or paralyzed by guilt. Enjoy serves as an encouraging reminder of God’s gracious gifts and also challenges women to view all of these gifts—from relationships and careers to food and sex—as reasons to rejoice in the Lord and grow in our understanding and appreciation of who He is.
This thought-provoking book invites you to explore the truth of God’s Word and discover how to nurture daily a spirit of gratitude and deep satisfaction.
Enjoy will open your eyes and your heart to the freedom of fully enjoying all God has given us!