Mark D. Roberts

The Joy of God’s Presence

READ Psalm 21:1-13

 You have endowed him with eternal blessings
and given him the joy of your presence.

Psalm 21:6

Psalm 21 focuses on the king of Israel. It celebrates many ways God has blessed the king and his leadership. Verse 6 declares, “You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence.” The Hebrew of this verse refers, literally, to the joy of God’s faces (panekha). This doesn’t mean God has many literal faces, of course. But it does convey the sense of God’s presence with a gripping image.
Have you ever seen a baby watch the face of her mother? I think of when my daughter, Kara, was tiny, how she’d focus on my wife’s face. Linda’s face signified safety, nourishment, warmth, and tenderness. When Linda smiled at Kara, sometimes Kara would offer back a huge grin. She knew the joy of her mother’s “faces.”
God wants us to know him in this way. Though we won’t get to see him literally face-to-face until the age to come, we can experience his “faces” even now. God’s presence is revealed to us when we gather with his people for worship, or when we take time alone for prayer. But God is also present with us when we’re sitting in a boardroom or teaching a class. As we grow in our faith, we’ll become more aware of God’s “faces” in each and every moment of our life, and we’ll learn to enjoy his presence wherever we are.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When do you experience God’s presence most powerfully? Have you ever sensed God’s presence in unexpected places? When? How did this make you feel?
PRAYER: O Lord, thank you for the many times that you have made your presence known to me, breaking through my spiritual blindness so that I might see you. Thank you for filling my heart with the sublime joy of being with you.
Dear Lord, I know that you are present with me at all times. Thank you for this sweet gift. I ask that you help me to attend to your presence, to see you in unexpected places, to hear the still, small voice of your Spirit. Help me especially to sense your presence in places I think of as “secular” or “unspiritual.” May I live each moment with the assurance and joy that comes from being with you. Amen.
Daily Reflections from The High
This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work ( You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.
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