Gales of laughter spill throughout the room as our daughter doubles over in delight after having bested her dad in their game of “got you.” Keeping points, they look for opportunities to scare each other. Though well into her teen years, my daughter finds great pleasure in scoring a point, while I find great joy in hearing the natural, unhindered delight of those I love.

Because He loves us, God wants to move on our behalf in whatever circumstances we face, but the core of our relationship with Him is not divine intervention but our pure delight in being with Him (Psalm 37:4). This insight is offered after an interesting admonition: “Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong” (Psalm 37:1). Inherent in our human nature is our endless ability to fixate on what is unjust, unfair, or disappointing. Longing for what we have yet to see come to pass, we can become frustrated by the apparent prosperity of evil people (Psalm 37:7).

But the cross demonstrates that God was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to remove the barrier of sin so that we might experience closeness with Him. God doesn’t only take pity on our difficult situations; He delights in being with us. To be delighted, both an action word and a state of being, means to be overflowing with satisfying joy.

One of the greatest temptations we face is to let someone—or something—else than God become our source of fulfillment (see for example Genesis 3:6). When Jesus becomes our satisfaction, however, our submission to His authority is a natural byproduct of that love relationship (Psalm 37:5, 40:8). Through a deep relationship with Him, we can experience and participate in His victory and an eternal inheritance with Him (Psalm 37:9,18).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 8:1-20