Joy In the Presence of God
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:10-11 NKJV
In the Old Testament the word “presence” (panim) is also translated “face” which means to seek the presence of the Lord (2 Chron. 7:14). God is always present. Some seek Him or respond in other ways. For example, like Adam & Eve, God’s presence may cause some people to feel fear (Gen. 3:10); like Joshua, it can bring comfort in a time of anxiety and trouble (Jos. 1:5); like David, it brings strength and encouragement when you’re feeling downcast (Ps.42:5); like Jonah, some have tried in vain to escape God’s presence (Jon. 1:3); and, for the spiritually enlightened, God’s presence causes you to have fullness of joy.
In the text above, this Messianic/resurrection psalm, God gives David assurance of eternal life, which foreshadows his greater Son’s (Jesus Christ) victory over death and the grave. God gives us the same assurance. By grace through faith, there is a path for us from death to life, and we too have been quicken, raised and made to sit in heavenly with Christ (Eph. 2:5-6). This path is one of love, mercy and grace, forgiveness and reconciliation to God. Because of this legal position in Christ, we are already potentially in heaven and experientially in His presence here on earth (Ps. 140:13), where there is fullness of joy.
We now live in the presence of God who is omnipresent (everywhere at the same time). Where we are, God is there (Prov. 15:3; Ps. 139:7-8). Since God is omnipresent, our inheritance in God is also omnipresence (Col 1:12). God is light; thus, omnipresence is Jesus the light of the world (John 8:12). So, everywhere God is, heaven is also there in our heart. By faith, heaven is here and now. If heaven is here and now, the only thing we should be feeling now is fullness of joy (John 16:24). God is able to make us stand in the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24).
It is error to think and say: One day I’m going to stand in the presence of His glory. We are there now! (See Number 14:21; John 11:40). This should fill our hearts with joy (John 15:11). In His presence there is fullness of joy—that which is pleasant, delightful, and sweet. Every answered prayer and every manifestation of God’s glory affords us fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.