I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Psalm 7:17
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8:1
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2
As I have been journeying through this year, I have encountered times filled with pleasantry and I have run into trials. I have been striving to better understand the meaning of joy and experience this fruit of the Spirit more regularly and more fully.
One of the things that I have been finding, whether in the midst of good times or bad, is that I feel more joyful when I am grateful for what the Lord has done for me and how He is ever walking beside me in the process of life.
When I praise Him, not only is He glorified, but I am also lifted up. I am reminded of everything Christ has done for me since the beginning of time. When I sing praise, His grace, His love, and His steadfastness are reinforced in my heart and I remember that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
Sometimes the difficulties of everyday life overwhelm me and I forget. I forget to be grateful. I forget to praise God, exult Him, and thank Him. I get caught up in myself, in my frustration, and fail to reach out and grasp the joy of my salvation. I start to feel desperate and finally I call out to Him for help. And, then, Holy Spirit whispers into the depths of my heart and tells me again that joy can be found in Him.
I can only imagine how it must have been for David as he wrote these psalms. His enemies surrounded him, chasing him away from his home, away from his land. He must have been full of anguish. But, these verses show me that he kept his eyes on God, focusing on His wonderful deeds, looking to His majesty, trusting in His righteousness.
Yesappa, Help me keep my focus on You at all times, whether good or bad. Keep my eyes on You and my heart connected to Yours. Help me remember, when I am struggling, to be grateful to You for being there for me, for offering Your strength, and for giving me wisdom and insight. I sing Your praise for all things. I praise You for Your goodness. And more than anything, thank You for giving me many reasons to be grateful and for increasing my joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.