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April 23 – Counterfeit joy (1)

By faith Mosesrefused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Hebrews 11:24-25

Scripture reading: Hebrews 11:23-28

Hebrews 11 is an entire chapter that focuses on the faith of Old Testament believers. And speaking about Moses, the writer says that Moses rejected the “fleeting pleasures of sin.”

This is instructive to us as we focus on joy. It is important to distinguish between true, lasting joy and a counterfeit of joy. One such counterfeit is pleasure that comes from sin. When tempted, the devil would have us believe that if we give in to the temptation, we will be more joyful than now. And the reason it is so effective is that there are often certain pleasures that accompany sin.

Moses, as the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter, could have lived in palatial opulence and had every sensual desire met. Instead, he chose the difficulties of wilderness living. Why? Because he understood that true joy comes in trusting and following the Lord.

David learned that the hard way. When he committed adultery with Bathsheba, he did so for the “joy” of sexual gratification. He soon discovered that while this may have brought him “fleeting pleasure,” it brought him no joy at all. This is why when he finally repented of his sin, he asked God: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Psalm 51:12). He had discovered that the fleeting pleasure of sin is a counterfeit to true lasting joy in the Lord.

Suggestions for prayer

Repent of your sins and, like David, ask God to restore your joy. Pray that God would give you faith like Moses to see beyond fleeting pleasures.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church(URC) in Littleton, Colorado.

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