Shout for Joy!

Posted by: Megan Sweitzer | Tuesday, May 28th, 2024 (12:05pm)

“Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.” (Psalm 66:1-2 NIV)

Many of us get a glimpse of this on Sunday mornings in church whenever we gather in pews and worship alongside fellow believers. For an hour, maybe two, we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in worship and praise to the Lord. But what about on Monday morning in our homes? Do you find yourself shouting for joy to the Lord and singing praises to the Almighty God? How about in the 9 to 5 in your workplace? Or on Friday night when the week is over and you're tired and worn out?

I can admit that often I get stuck in the mundane routine of life where I’m not proactively practicing what it looks like to praise the glorious name of Jesus. I have found that when things are going well, when I’m happy and healthy, when my family is happy and healthy, taking the time to praise and worship God is not something on the forefront of my mind. However, the minute things get hard, I find myself on my knees crying out to the Lord and worshipping him wholeheartedly. Can you relate to this feeling? 

I have also been in seasons full of rejoicing, celebration, and living in answered prayers, where praise and worship come easy because life is so good! But in a moment, grief, loneliness, and heartache appear and suddenly the praise and worship fade from my lips. Have you found yourself here?

Wherever you are on this spectrum, know that you are in good company. The people of God knew these feelings all too well. The Israelites knew these feelings all too well. David, the author of many of the psalms, knew these feelings all too well. 

Psalm 66 is truly beautiful. If you can, take the time to read the whole Psalm. In Psalm 66:10-12, 20 the writer says, “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance [...] Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”

The people of God throughout history have been through times of weeping and mourning as well as times of rejoicing. One thing that we can learn from them is that the Lord always invites us to worship Him in every season, in every feeling, we are welcome to bring it all to Him. He is with us through it all. We serve a God who tests us, refines us, and brings us through valleys and mountaintops to a beautiful place. The God we serve does not withhold his love from us and He is worthy of all our praise no matter what we face. 

So whatever season you are in, find ways to glorify the Lord, to shout his praise, and to take comfort in knowing there is something hopeful and holy in our future where one day we will join the angels, the elders, and the heavenly creatures singing his praises “Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8 NIV).

 

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