# The Longing Journey: Finding Joy in God’s Dwelling Place – Psalm 84
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” – Psalm 84:10 (NIV)
The human soul longs for something more. We desire to be fulfilled, to find purpose and meaning beyond ourselves. At the heart of every person is a longing for joy and happiness that cannot be found through earthly possessions or achievements. This longing can only be satisfied by dwelling with God.
Psalm 84 describes this longing journey towards God’s dwelling place, where we will find the ultimate joy that our hearts seek.
## A Longing for God’s Presence
“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” – Psalm 84:1-2 (NIV)
In these opening verses, we see a deep longing for communion with God. The psalmist’s soul yearns and faints for his presence, expressing an intense desire to dwell within his courts.
This longing stems from our innermost being because we were created to be in relationship with our Creator. When sin separated us from him, this relationship was broken. However, through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we have been reconciled back into fellowship with him.
As believers who have experienced salvation through Jesus Christ can attest like Apostle Paul who says “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” Philippians 3:8a (NIV).
## A Blessed Life
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.” – Psalm 84:4 (NIV)
The psalm goes on to describe the blessings that come from dwelling in God’s presence. Those who live their lives in constant worship and adoration of him are truly blessed.
God’s presence brings joy, peace, and contentment to our souls. Living a life of praise leads us to a deeper understanding of his love and attributes, changing us into the likeness of Christ.
## The Valley of Baca
“As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” – Psalm 84:6 (NIV)
Life is not always easy; we all experience trials and difficulties along our journey towards God. However, when we choose to trust in him even amidst adversity, he turns our struggles into opportunities for growth.
The valley referred to as Baca is translated as “weeping” or “tears” in Hebrew. It represents the times where sorrow weighs down on one’s hearts making them despair over their troubles. Yet, this psalm holds out hope for those travelling through this valley – we can make it a place full of springs by looking beyond ourselves and turning toward God.
His grace turns tears into laughter and despair into hope that helps light up our path as seen by Apostle Peter writing about sharing in Christ’s sufferings ultimately bringing them victory: “Rejoice…as you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:13 (NIV).
## Strength From God
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you…” – Psalm 84:5a (NIV)
True strength comes from God alone. We cannot rely on ourselves or other worldly things to sustain us throughout life’s journey towards God’s dwelling place.
He provides everything we need for success along His paths He planned for us before time began when He knows where all roads will lead ultimately ending with Him and His eternal love. Therefore, our strength is found in depending on Him daily.
## A Journey Towards God
“They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” – Psalm 84:7 (NIV)
This journey to God’s dwelling place is not a simple or easy one; it takes perseverance and the reliance of His grace. The author describes “going from strength to strength,” which symbolises how faith develops as we mature spiritually after each test of our faith.
When we trust God in the valleys along this pathway to reaching heaven’s gates, he strengthens us and empowers us for every challenge that comes our way until we reach the ultimate goal.
He promises never to leave nor forsake us even when life presents unpleasant events but He has always been there with an outstretched arm ready to catch us so that we will not dash our precious soul against any trouble but overcome through Him Who gave all for them. Psalms 91:11-12 (NIV).
Psalm 84 concludes with a powerful statement of faith:
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11 (NIV)
This verse affirms that trusting in Christ provides freedom because no circumstance can overtake you without His Grace. It also reminds believers that ultimately Christ walks beside them along life’s path leading them towards exceedingly abundant rewards both here on earth as well as eternally with Him fulfilling their deepest longings.
Finally, this longing journey towards finding joy within God’s dwelling place should not only be pursued during hardships but encouraged amongst others through examples like Apostle Peter encouraging believers by saying, “…be prepared …to give an answer…for the hope within you…”1 Peter 3:15 (NIV). By doing this we could help inspire others, even as Christ inspired us to be the light of the world within a corrupted world.