Looking Forward: 2019

Rather than concrete resolutions, I’ve picked a “Word of the Year” for the last couple years to help direct my intentions and vision for the how I want to approach life in the coming months. This year, I was having a hard time settling on a word. So… I used a quiz (cue eye-rolling). A bit of a cop out, maybe, but I think it identified exactly what I needed to focus on. I even took the quiz multiple times to see how slightly different answers would give me different words. The one it seemed to settle on was:

I would NOT have come up with that on my own. Which is probably why it fits perfectly. If you read my last post, you may have surmised that I experience plenty of moments in 2018 where delight was the last thing from my mind. Impatience, frustration, bitterness, hurt, remorse and sheer anger seemed more at the forefront. Not to say that 2018 was a bad year (not at all!), but my heart was not always where it needed to be. So for 2019, that’s what I’d like to focus on: beginning and ending every day rooted in the joy of the Lord so that delight would fill my heart and mind and show itself in all my actions.

Here are some thoughts on how I can do this…

What does delight mean?

Both a noun and a verb. Noun: a high degree of gratification or pleasure (synonym: joy). Verb (active and passive): to take great pleasure; to give keen enjoyment.

Delight is a complex word. It is a feeling experienced by oneself, and it can also be enacted for another. It is both passive in receiving something that delights one; and active in doing or giving something that provides pleasure to someone else. I can feel delight in something, or I can delight someone else with my words or deeds.

How does Scripture use the word delight?

Occurs 105 times (NIV). Here are just a few examples:

“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

“The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring [you] quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.” Zephaniah 3:17

“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;” Romans 7:22″

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

(Here’s the crazy part: I quoted the verse above in my previous post… when I had not even chosen my word of the year yet. And there it is, perfectly placed. I am in awe of how God works.)

I will continue to pore through the verses that contain this word through the coming year, and I’m excited to more fully delve into the depths of delight contained in Scripture.

How can I pursue delight in my life?

This is a major shift in focus for me. It won’t happen overnight. Often my thoughts are consumed with everything I have to get accomplished each day, and often the things that get in the way of accomplishment (kid interruptions, unexpected errands, illness, etc.), feel like insurmountable obstacles, hindrances that throw off my attitude, killing joy. My sense of “delight” is focused purely on my own sense of self-achievement.

The true focus of delight is not self or things, but God. My delight in the Lord, will lead to His delight in me. And everywhere I look in Scripture, that source of delight comes back to His Word: his Law, the word of God’s mouth and His Truth. Not my truth, not the world’s “truth”. Finding true delight is turning the world’s approach on its head.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

So, my vision for 2019 is not about finding more time for “self care”, pursuing my favorite hobbies, or learning to say “no”, or even about establishing new routines or identifying big goals that can be systematically accomplished…but about delighting in the Lord. Seeking His word and meditating on His law from the time I wake up to the time I sleep. Continually asking that He fill my heart and mind with His Spirit… because I truly believe that the rest will follow.

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