Read Psalm 100 (ESV)
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
According to this psalm, there are many reasons to praise God. What are they?
Recently, someone commented on a worship article saying that they just can’t stand “happy, clappy” worship in church. Now, I understood what they meant. Christians may seem insincere when we sing happy songs and put on our happy faces. Others feel as though we need to be more solemn and proper in our worship in order to be respectful of God.
We always need to be reverent of who God is when we are worshipping Him. But today’s psalm gives us permission to be joyful in our worship. Yes, maybe even happy and clappy at times! Why? Because He is God and He is good! He is steadfast and He will love us forever. He is faithful to every generation. God made us and we are His. He takes care of us and leads us like a shepherd leads His sheep. Therefore, we should be full of joy and give thanks to Him! We should serve Him with a cheerful heart because He has done great things for us.
Can we worship with joy even when life is hard without being insincere? Yes! Habakkuk 3:17-18 says, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Another example is a lament that is found in Psalm 42. The Psalmist details how much trouble and suffering he is going through. In verse 4 he even mentions that he used to lead the procession “to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise”. But then in verse 5, he writes of his despair. “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil with me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” He knew that even though He was suffering, He could place His hope in the Lord and find the joy to praise Him.
Friends, even when there is nothing in this world to be happy about we can have a deep and abiding sense of joy and peace in the Lord. We can always rejoice in Him because He is the God of our salvation and His faithfulness lasts forever. Our joy should be rooted in Him and what He has done for us, not our circumstances. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
God, You are good! I praise You for who You are and what You have done for me. Help me to find my joy and hope in You, even when I struggle to find joy in my circumstances. Thank You for Your faithfulness to me. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us!
Discipleship Tip: Sharing is discipleship. Invite a friend to join you each day for a morning coffee and conversation about God. Click the sharing button below to get the conversation started.