Tag Archives: joy

Sing for Joy

Psalm 98 (CEV)

The Lord Works Miracles

98 Sing a new song to the Lord!
    He has worked miracles,
and with his own powerful arm,
    he has won the victory.
The Lord has shown the nations
    that he has the power to save
    and to bring justice.
God has been faithful
    in his love for Israel,
    and his saving power is seen
    everywhere on earth.

Tell everyone on this earth
    to sing happy songs
    in praise of the Lord.
Make music for him on harps.
    Play beautiful melodies!
Sound the trumpets and horns
and celebrate with joyful songs
    for our Lord and King!

Command the ocean to roar
    with all of its creatures,
    and the earth to shout
    with all of its people.
Order the rivers
    to clap their hands,
    and all of the hills
    to sing together.
Let them worship the Lord!
He is coming to judge
    everyone on the earth,
    and he will be honest
    and fair.

What was impossible, God has made possible.  He has saved and brought justice.

What’s not to sing about.

Personally, I find the phrase, “Tell everyone on this earth to sing happy songs” or even the “jubilant songs” of the NIV, a tad grating – life is not always that easy.  BUT, there are many many Psalms of woe and misery, of pain and despair.  So, I guess when the Psalmist says, ‘Be Happy’ he can say it with integrity.  This is not an ‘all is wonderful with the world’ naivety, but a ‘I know how rubbish everything can be, so lets enjoy this victory, this glimpse, this moment’.

So lets join together in this song to our awesome God.

Psalm 98

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I Will Rejoice

This is a great prayer:

Psalm 30

(A psalm by David for the dedication of the temple.)

A Prayer of Thanks

30 I will praise you, Lord!
    You saved me from the grave
    and kept my enemies
    from celebrating my death.
I prayed to you, Lord God,
    and you healed me,
    saving me from death
    and the grave.

Your faithful people, Lord,
will praise you with songs
    and honor your holy name.
Your anger lasts a little while,
    but your kindness lasts
    for a lifetime.
At night we may cry,
    but when morning comes
    we will celebrate.

I was carefree and thought,
    “I’ll never be shaken!”
You, Lord, were my friend,
    and you made me strong
    as a mighty mountain.
But when you hid your face,
    I was crushed.

I prayed to you, Lord,
    and in my prayer I said,
    “What good will it do you
    if I am in the grave?
Once I have turned to dust,
    how can I praise you
or tell how loyal you are?
10     Have pity, Lord! Help!”

11 You have turned my sorrow
    into joyful dancing.
    No longer am I sad
    and wearing sackcloth.
12 I thank you from my heart,
    and I will never stop
    singing your praises,
    my Lord and my God.

Good times, bad times.

The Novel, A Tale of Two Cities, opens with those immortal lines,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

I suppose that pretty much sums up life.  It has its highs and it has its lows.  There are times when we rejoice, and times when we despair – and all the shades of hope in between.

And into that, God speaks.

Sometimes I think Romans 8:28 in its traditional form is one of the hardest verses in the bible:

“We know that in all things God works together for good with those who love him”.

That can be really hard to hear when you are struggling – that God is working for good in this terrible situation you are caught up in.  What’s that all about?!  I know it in my head, yet feeling it in your heart in the middle of a crisis is not always easy.

But reading to the end of the passage it begins to sink in:

If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? (v31)

 

Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? (v35)

The answer is a resounding no!  God is always with us.  He is bigger than anything that happens to us.  His love is always there, always loving, always on our side.  Life may throw its stuff at us, that is part of living, but God remains with us.

And we can come to the place where,

In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love–not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!(v37-39)

Praise God for that!  For it is true, even when we cannot feel it.  When we can neither feel nor love God, he is still there.  He has won the victory and is holding it for us.

There will be the best of times, there will be the worst of times, but they are all God times.  He loves you and journeys with you through pain, anger and crisis, through joy and success.

Thank you Lord,

that you are always with me.

Through success and failure,

pain and pleasure,

struggle and ease –

the best of times

and the worst of times –

and every shade in between.

Thank you

that when I cannot see you,

you can see me,

you hold me

and care for me.