Good pleasure of His will

Psalm 149--4

Revised and re-posted below is the Verse of Day submitted a year ago:

In Psalm 149:4 (NLT) we find the Verse of the Day for August 8, 2015:

For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

The Psalmist makes known that the people of God are a source of pleasure or delight for the Lord. Just as a father rejoices and celebrates his children, as they grow and mature, so does God, our Father. Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us:

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

How comforting to know that God takes pleasure in our company.

Often when we encounter situations whereby we must make a choice, the individual presenting the options will ask: “What’s your pleasure?” What would you like? What would bring you pleasure or what would delight you? Delight can be used as a synonym for pleasure. As a verb, it means –to take pleasure in, to enjoy, to appreciate, to savor; as a noun it is means–joy, a high degree of pleasure, happiness, satisfaction, etc.

I recall that the first poem that I wrote was a rather accidental (providential) occurrence taking place during my first year in college in my freshman composition class when I was asked to write a response to this prompt:”May I Tell You What Delights Me?” I made a list of things that brought me pleasure, and when I read what I had written to the class, my professor described it as poetry. Years later I realized that I had written a free-verse, catalog poem, in the style of Walt Whitman. Near the top of the list of sources of delight for me was the Book of Psalms, which not only speaks of what God takes pleasure in but the expression “good pleasure” is also used.

Psalm 51:18 offers this request to God:

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

The expression of God’s “good pleasure” is found in the Gospels in Luke 12:32:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The phrase is twice used in Ephesians and once in 2 Thessalonians:

Ephesians 1:5

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Ephesians 1:9

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

2 Thessalonians 1:11

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

Bible teacher John Piper discusses the phrase “good pleasure” and notes that it is a verb in Greek, meaning “to be a pleasure” or “to be pleased by.” You could translate it: “it pleased God,” or, “God chose it gladly.” One of the best places to see how the expression is used occurs in Philippians 2:13

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

God is both the energy and the energizer—even beyond the Energizer Bunny that keeps on going and going. The verse also expresses God’s desire: “Both the willing and the working (the energizing).” God does it all, then. Yes, but he puts us to work also, and our part is essential.

As believers we ask, “What delights God? What brings Him pleasure? What is His good pleasure?” Our good pleasure is to do His good pleasure of His will, as the following poem makes known:

The Good Pleasure of His Will

Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,

according to the good pleasure of His will,

Ephesians 1:5 [NKJV]

 

“The safest place in the whole wide world

is the perfect will of God.”

Contemporary Christian Song

God makes all things new in yet another new season,

In this place where our divine destinies intersect.

As we finish the work, what we lack, He will perfect,

Far beyond anything our mortal minds can reason.

To abide in God’s perfect will Jesus led the way.

In the garden, he said, not my will but yours be done,

Praying that as he and the Father, so might we be one

To reverse the curse of Adam who chose to disobey.

God’s desire is that we know joy without measure.

In fulfilling God’s will His presence is ever near.

Signs, wonders, and miracles happen when we are here

Where we prove His perfect will and know His good pleasure.

The will of God is a safe haven where we can hide:

In the good pleasure of His will where we long to abide.

Esther Mui offers this Christian Scripture Worship Song with lyrics from Psalm 149 in its entirety, from which the Verse of the Day is taken.

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