Seeing Jesus in Psalm 45 - Preventing Regret
Psalm 45:7 - "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.  Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions." I read an interesting article this evening entitled,"Nurse reveals people's most common deathbed regrets."  One of those regrets was I wish I had let myself be happier and it went on to add that "happiness was a choice."  That is certainly true as happiness is a choice, a choice thatbegins according to the psalmist with choosing to follow Jesus. He says that because a person loves righteousness and hates wickedness that God will anoint them or pour out upon them the oil of joy.  In other words God gives them joy and happiness because they love righteousness.   The problem with this for us is that on our own we don't have the ability to love righteousness,  on our own we love wickedness.  Left to our own devices we love sin and are drawn to it.  On our own we cannot stop sinning, in fact we come out of the womb pretty much addicted to it.  So how can we begin to love righteousness and thus find the elusive joy that the psalmist is talking about here? That happens when God begins to change our hearts, when He removes our heart of stone as Ezekiel talks about and gives us a heart of flesh.  A heart of stone is dead and drawn to sin, a heart of flesh is alive and beating for the things of God.  That change occurs when we begin following Jesus.  When we repent of our sins and place our trust in Jesus, then God begins to transform our hearts and we become people who crave righteousness and not wickedness.   It is then that we begin to find out what true joy is, joy that doesn't come from the world but from God and God alone. When we love righteousness we will be given joy and because the world didn't give it to us, the world cannot take it away.  Therefore it is a permanent, lasting joy.  Joy comes from God and joy and obedience to God go hand in hand.  In fact Matt Chandler says, "if you do not desire obedience you may not be a Christian."  Obedience and joy go hand in hand.  Why was Jesus obedient to the Father in going to the cross? The wroter of Hebrews tells us "it was because of the joy set before Him."  Joy and obedience go together. God takes us and changes our hearts and makes us crave righteousness, obedience,  and the things of the kingdom.  Then the more of those things we pursue the more joy we find until it finally culminates with perfect joy in the Kingdom of God.  After all God gives us the promise that "in His presence there is fullness of joy."  We can truly choose to be joyful, we don't have to live with regret, we can choose Jesus.  To God be the glory!