Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Once again, we are encouraged to enter the presence of the Lord with shouts of joy. Our songs are to be joyful as we enter into worship. There are times for laments and sadness, but worshiping the Lord should be a time of praise, thanksgiving and service.
Today, as you go about your busyness, how will you enter each encounter with joy, remembering that God is with you? Will you bring light into dark places? Will you bring a needed smile or a word of thanks? How will you impact your surroundings with joy today?
We are so willing to shout and make a lot of noise when a team scores a point or a child brings home a good report. We must remember that God deserves our shouts of joy.
I was thinking about Jericho this morning and how the Israelites marched around the city for six days in silence. Outside the city the only sound was the treading of feet. Even in the night there was no sound. A silence like that becomes ominous, scary. Those inside the walls became more and more terrified. What did this silence mean?
As an Israelite, the anticipation must have been great. Like a little child who has been sent to time out, the desire to speak, shout, make noise must have been overwhelming. And then the moment came and a great shout came out of them, resounding through the hills and into the city. A shout of hope and of pleading with God. A shout of joy that God was going to do a mighty thing.
This is the kind of shout God is looking for from us. Not just a small cry, tentative with joy but a cry from our hearts for joy because he is who he says he is: good, loving and faithful. Have you been silent, trudging through your days waiting for something to shout about? The time has come. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Still struggling? Get out the Christmas music and sing for joy. Become like a little child, remembering the joy of the season. You are loved. Shout about that!