Is it possible to worship God and not be joyful? I think not, but we still have to choose worship and choose joy. Psalm 100 is about worship and thanks. The opening verse “Shout for joy” implies enthusiasm, so let’s get going.
Psalm 100 (NLT)
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
The covenant of grace set down in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, with so many rich promises, to strengthen the faith of every weak believer, makes the matter of God’s praise and of his people’s joys so sure, that how sad soever our spirits may be when we look to ourselves, yet we shall have reason to praise the Lord when we look to his goodness and mercy, and to what he has said in his word for our comfort.
– Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)
It is possible to pray in of our sadness or loss, but I don’t think it is possible to praise without joy. According to Matthew Henry, even in our sadness, we can find a reason for joy.
The key is extending that joy beyond praise and worship time on Sunday and carry worship with us all the time. Maybe one way is by performing our daily tasks as a form of worship.
For example, I don’t want to spend Saturday afternoon cleaning my house. I could grumble about it and complain that it would be so much easier if people would just pick-up after themselves or help me get this done, and on and on I go until the house is clean. Then spend the rest of my day sulking about wasting the afternoon cleaning. And there goes a whole day wasted on me, me, me, woes me.
On the other hand, looking at cleaning as a form of worship flips that script.
I can choose to be grateful for the home I’m cleaning and my family. The Lord has blessed me by giving me the ability to provide a clean environment where my family is safe and feels comfortable. So, I’ll do my best to preserve God’s gifts by caring for them, and cleaning is just one way to do it.
We can choose joy today
Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. – Psalm 95:1 (NLT)
A small change in perspective sheds light on many opportunities to shout for joy every single day.
As children of God, we have many reasons to shout for joy and embrace life with enthusiasm:
- Let’s realize we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
- It is only by faith in Jesus that we have salvation. There is no work required on our part.
- By God’s great love for us (John 3:16), salvation is available through Christ.
Let me repeat myself–we have many reasons to shout for joy!
Practicing worship makes it possible for our perspective to shift from me, me, me, woes me to Jesus, the Author, and Perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Choose worship instead of woes, and this is coming from a major woer. I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I’m using it anyway. The critical point is to start choosing joy, and worship helps.
This is my prayer for you today, friends. That you would start choosing joy today.
- With worship as a backdrop, take few seconds to praise God for giving you the ability to do the next thing on your to-do list.
- What is it that you can flip the script on today?
- Can you relate to my housekeeping example? If not, there’s something else that saps your smile. Try approaching that task or obligation you hate with worship.
See if that puts the smile back on your face and in your heart. Let me know in the comments.