“Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.”
(Psalm 33:1-5 NASB)
Hello Saints of the Most High, just take a moment to read Psalms 32:11 – 34:3
On a recent road trip to visit an aunt, there was a point on the journey that we threw in a Gaither Gospel CD - an hour and a half of foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, harmony-inspirin’ music, that is a sure remedy for the uplifting of a downcast soul. It is hard to stay in a bad mood or focused on your problems when you put some good ol’ fashioned praise music on. Reading through a few psalms recently had the same effect on me. The command is to “sing for joy in the Lord” - just do it! Give thanks; sing praise; sing a new song; play skillfully with a shout! When you don’t know what else to do and there seems to be no answers for what you are going through…just “sing for joy in the Lord!” Have you found yourself, like me, wondering what is happening in this world? Has God gone on holidays?!! Sometimes we demand answers to our “why’s” and the answers are just not there. Sometimes, probably all the time, our first response ought to be “Praise the Lord!”. We cannot make sense of our world and its leaders, and why things are unfolding the way they are: so much pain and suffering; so much chaos and confusion; so much turmoil and strife; so much uncertainty. But…there is always one appropriate response to whatever is going on, and that is “sing for joy in the Lord”.
“In the Lord” is what the more accurate translations have. I believe that is the key to being able to sing and praise God no matter what. Where is my focus? Where is my hope? Where am I hidden? In the Lord!!! My eyes need to be on Him, not the problems of the world! “In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever”(Psalm 16:11 NAS). We are exhorted by the Apostle Paul to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 3:1 & 4:4). Abiding in Christ, living in deep communion with Him brings a promise of joy (John 15:11). That closeness to Jesus will cover us with a mantle of praise, rather than heaviness and fear for what is going on in the world, even in our very lives. When we choose to praise the Lord, give thanks, and sing for joy in the Lord, our thoughts are lifted upward to God and we can see what He wants us to see, described in the rest of psalm 33:
• We see the power of His word which is ever true and faithful to accomplish what He desires (vs. 4 and 6).
• We see His righteousness and justice by which He rules, and His incredible lovingkindness which covers the earth (vs.5)
• We see the creative power of the Lord to not only create the universe but manage and sustain all that is within it. That revelation of a God who holds the whole world together and makes it all function will create in all peoples a fear of the Lord, a reverence and awe for who He is! (vs.6-9)
• Lest we think that the nations have gone astray, we are quickly reminded that God is even in control of the rulers of the world and His plans are always fulfilled. He is able to turn a ruler’s heart in the direction He wants (vs. 10-11 also Prov. 19:21; 21:1; Isa. 8:10; Isa. 46:10-12)
• We see that God is ultimately in control, ruling and reigning over all the people of the world (vs. 13-17)
• We see that The Lord has a people whom He loves. He is there to defend and protect them. Our hope is in His mercy and love for us – we are His people and He will not abandon or forsake us (vs. 18-22)
What is our response to our God who holds the whole world in His hand, and has His eye on us who fear Him (vs.18)? “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11); “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1). Sing! Sing a new song! Sing an old Hymn with the Gaithers! Let us drown our fears and sorrows in praise as we reflect on our God who loves us, and controls all of creation with the power of His word. And let us pray with thanksgiving in the Spirit, to the only wise God who alone has the power to control world events – the God we know personally, who knows us intimately.
Have a blessed week singing in the Lord!
"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."