Fruit of Grace: Grateful Worship

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:25-26 

“Here is one of the most beautiful fruits of grace—a heart that is content, more given to worship than demand and more given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want. It is grace and grace alone that can make this kind of peaceful living possible for each of us.” P. D. Tripp

“More given to worship than demand…”

Asaph is the psalmist of Psalm 73 and he has wrestled his soul to the ground because it has been full of envy. His heart was in danger because it was more given to demand than to worship of the Lord. I should say that he was given more to the worship of demand than to the worship of the Lord. Our hearts are always in a state of worship either directed towards the infinite and worthy God or toward the fleeting and empty promises of worldly vanity. Oh, all the things my own heart demands! Wretched man that I am! My heart demands comfort. Comfort from this life through other people. Comfort from peaceful circumstances. Comfort from everyone always agreeing with me. My soul often worships at the footstool of people being pleased with me. Pleased with what I do, say, think, and feel, etc… 

Like Asaph my heart demands from this world and its people things that can never truly satisfy it. My heart is deceived in this…blinded by the right-here-right-now world and all of its shiny veneer and vein promises. While I’m blinded by this world, I’m blind to the greater promises of the not-now-but-then-and-there world of eternity. “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The eternal life I have in Christ is not only future, it has already begun and how easily I forget this. This world cannot satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts, only eternal life is designed to do that. “And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). For the believer, eternal life is already underway, but not yet fully realized. The taste of living, truly living in the knowledge of God is meant to spark a deeper hunger and thirst that would continually thrust us back to the banquet feast of God’s Word and in the throne room of grace before our God, with whom we long to relate. That taste is meant to fuel our worship of the Lord and to quench the demands of envy that often come into our souls.

“More given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want.”

Asaph’s soul has been worked up into a frenzy, full of anxiety for the prosperity of this world that the wicked possess. He even questions why he bothers denying himself the pursuit of these riches in exchange for the pursuit of the Lord. This is the work of a deceived and anxious soul that is hungering for immediate gratification. It’s blind to the eternal riches we possess in Christ Jesus. Believers are co-laborers and fellow heirs with Christ of all of His inheritance. The Father has put all authority and all of the riches of the universe in Christ and He has put us in Christ and seated us with Him in heavenly places. The treasonous travesty of an anxious soul is that in its anxiety and restlessness it is not satisfied by the reality of being in Christ because the anxious soul wants instant gratification instead of expressing its eternal gratitude for the reality of riches not yet fully delivered. 

The content heart is a heart resting in Christ the Lord, not blinded by the shiny, but vein promises of this world, but grateful for the certain hope of things yet to come. Having gotten a taste of the goodness of God in the land of the living we live with the hopeful satisfaction and gratitude that the fullness of life in Christ Jesus still lies ahead. We are given to grateful worship of the Lord of glory, not to the anxious demands of vein riches. What we American’s refer to as the American Dream: a retirement not prosperity and ease and comfort and leisure cannot hold a candle to the golden shores of glory where we shall see our Savior and our faith will become sight and we will know then the fullness of satisfaction in Him. Until then I wait in restful and worshipful faith preparing myself for what awaits me. My heart learns to hunger and thirst for heaven, and not heaven in itself, but the God who lives and abides in heaven. The more contented I grow the more peaceful and worshipful in the Lord I become, because my soul learns to be satisfied in the fullness of the Lord. So again,

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

1 John 3:1-3 NIV

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