I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall also rest in hope. (Psalm 16:8-9)
I love "therefores". They always tell me that I should have been paying attention because I might have missed some terrific truth. I think that is the case in this passage from Psalms. It is a verse I have memorized before, which is probably why the verse popped out at me in my reading. In a nutshell, King David our psalmist is telling us about the personal benefits of a daily walk with God through His word.
First of all, did you notice that David's steadfastness, joyfulness and hopefulness did not come by accident? He says: "I have set the LORD always before me:...". The word "set" is a verb, which implies action, right? In some way, David has intentionally put God before him, whether in the reading of scripture, the prayers of his heart, or the meditations of his mind. Whatever the case, David had to have been intentional about it. He did not have a relationship with God through osmosis. Because David had God intentionally "before" him, he was able to remain steadfast in his beliefs throughout many a trial.
Now let's discuss the "therefore". Because David always kept God in the forefront of his mind, he was joyful and he had hope. He was able to remain steadfast in his beliefs because he knew God's Word and could live a confident life knowing that he was living his life according to God's plan. We can have that too. We can have confidence in God to protect us and guide us when we are walking with Him. Consequently, we too can live in gladness and hope. We can know that no matter what happens, we have the certain hope of an eternal life with God, providing we have accepted Jesus as our savior. That is true hope. Hope without doubt. That in itself is gladness-worthy. :)
So where are you in your life right now? Are you glad or are you sad? Do you rest in a hope anchored in Christ or are you restless in uncertainty? We too, can have the joy, peace and steadyness that David had. We just need to purposely set out to make God a real priority in our lives. He is the "before" for the "therefore" of gladness.
The "Set" Check:
1) How often do I "set" God before me? Am I consistent with my time with Him?
2) Where do I "set" God? What is coming before God in my life?
3) If I'm not "setting" God before me, why not? If I am, am I keeping Him in front of me or am I passing Him by?