Chapter 1: Fullness of Joy, Psalm 16:11
Don’t you love the Psalms? They cover the full range of emotions that a Christian can experience. I turn there often to see how the Psalm writers deal with their emotions before God. I especially like Psalm 16:11. Listen to the Psalmist: “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
It seems the Bible always associates Christian joy with the powerful presence of Christ. This Psalm states it plainly when it says, “…in Your presence is fullness of joy…” In the real presence of Jesus Christ, how could there be anything but joy and delight for the Christian?
But how do we experience His presence when we’re on earth and He’s in heaven? Is there another reality in addition to the one just stated? Yes, there is, and it is a wonderful truth.
As a believer, you have the presence of Christ every moment of every day for your entire life here on earth—and forever. The Bible says that all who trust in Christ are in Christ by the power of God the Holy Spirit indwelling them. The Christian is in union with Christ, now and forever. In Christ, you have become a new creature, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (KJV).”
His presence is always there, but we can become more aware of it as we meditate on Him and commune with Him by meditating on His Word. The Holy Spirit does His work of helping us to understand and apply the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit helps us to meditate on Christ (I Corinthians 2:14-16). He helps us to pray to the Father through Christ the Mediator (Romans 8:26-27). The Holy Spirit enables us to bear spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22).
We commune with Jesus Christ spiritually and abide in His presence that way. One day we will see Him face to face, but for now, God the Holy Spirit creates this communion through God’s Word and through the Sacraments. Yes, Psalm 16:11 does apply to our lives. We need to increase our awareness of Christ’s presence, and enjoy it constantly.
Most of you have heard of Brother Lawrence. Here is a man who “practiced” the presence of Christ. He honed and sharpened his awareness of the presence of Christ so that he was conscious of His presence almost all the time, every day. You can also do this.