Joyful in a Joyless World
Loving Lord, my choices are gifts to You. Guide me in my decision making today.
Read Psalm 92:1-15
 A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Joy is the result of being loved by God. When his undeserved grace and forgiveness penetrate through the thick layers of self-doubt and self-negation, we begin to feel the surge of joy” (Lloyd John Ogilvie). God wants to develop this character trait in us.
Jewish people recite this psalm daily in their morning prayers, and three times on the Sabbath. Its underlying celebratory tone proclaims God’s praises, extolling his wisdom, mighty acts and blessings to those who trust in him. We do not know how it was sung in the Temple, but the call to give it musical expression has been met in compositions by Franz Schubert and many others.
Expressing joy (4) in Scripture is not just the outpouring of emotion, or the physical use of voice or body. The deep thanksgiving and happiness that characterizes joy is more than that. Joy in the Bible is the underlying response to God’s love and saving power. The weekly Sabbath is the appointed time in Jewish life to celebrate God’s own joy as he finished the work of creation and saw it was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). God’s joy in his freedom and power to make all things “very good” is then shared with us, his creatures. He has done great things, and therefore we are glad (4). In a world that has often lost sight of God and is encumbered with the sufferings of humanity, joy is a greatly needed quality.
Our joy grows as our lives are directed and transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Joy is a gift of God and a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22; 1 Thess. 5:16), rather than a result of human activity, but we are commanded to “rejoice always” (Phil. 4:4), seeing this as God’s will for our lives. Joy is an indication that we are maturing in faith and grounded in truth, thanksgiving and hope. Joy completes our expression of praise. Do we always feel like being joyful? Sadly not, especially when trials and problems face us, but here the psalmist expresses his confidence in God and praises him joyfully. So should we.
Do you obey the command to “rejoice always”? Write your own psalm of joy in God’s creation, redemption and restoration, while recognizing the obstacles in your path.
Lord God, how great is Your faithfulness. I pray that I may flourish for You and be filled with joy.
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