"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs." - Psalm 100:1-2 (NIV)
Our lives as Christians should be a daily celebration, filled with thanksgiving and praise! WHAT?!! Doesn't God realize that it's Monday and I have to go back to work? Doesn't He know I'm struggling to pay my bills? Doesn't He realize how unhappy my marriage is? Doesn't He see the trouble I'm going through? Doesn't He know I'm worried about my health? Can't He see I'm in pain? I'm sure there's a laundry list of things we could complain about this morning. However, instead of complaining, why aren't we praising Him for the jobs we have when so many are unemployed? Why aren't we thankful that the bills are getting paid? Why are we worrying about our marriages, troubles, health, etc. when God is available for us to pray to and give it all to Him? What's not to celebrate?!
I love this verse! "Shout for joy", "worship" with "gladness", "come with joyful songs"!! My pathway to feeling connected with God is through worship - through music and through prayer. That's when I feel God speaking to me, when I am brought to tears of joy because I feel His presence, when I just want to dance for the sheer joy of knowing Jesus. That's when I want to celebrate the life He has given to me. Then, reality hits. I walk out of church or I turn off the radio or I finish my morning prayers and life smacks me upside the head. At that point in time, I have a choice to make. Do I continue to celebrate, to count my blessings, to be thankful, to praise God or do I allow Satan to have the victory by complaining, by getting angry, by becoming a victim to my circumstances? Do I walk in light or in darkness? Do I do as this verse instructs me to or do I ignore it? Do I show others what it means to be a believer or do I lead them astray by my actions? I would hope I choose to celebrate, to walk in the light but I can honestly say I don't always make that choice. However, I can also say that my intention from here forward is to more consciously recognize when I am making the wrong choice and ask God to direct me back into worship with Him. There's nothing sweeter than celebrating and worshiping the Lord!! As the Chris Tomlin song goes:
"Shout to the Lord, all the earth
Let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King;
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name.
I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand,
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You."
Awesome God, teach me to celebrate this life You've given to me. Let me see each circumstance as a way to bring glory to You and Your Son. Fill me with thanksgiving and praise for my salvation, for Your promises, for the blessings and miracles you bestow on me each and every day. Help me to live in Jesus' light and not in Satan's darkness. Let me shout Your praises every day. In Jesus' name, Amen.