“What man is he that fears the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease”
I had a really good chat with a friend of faith on social media this morning. He, like most folks, is frustrated with we’re we are as a society right now on multiple fronts. I told him I share his frustration, yet I also would do well to obey the Apostle Paul’s command to the church in Philippi to “rejoice.” Solomon’s book of Ecclesiastes tells us we should “Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun” (Eccl 9:7–9). Like his father, Solomon wasn’t a stranger to adversity! Even if his sins did eventually catch up with him, his wisdom to pursue joy “for God has approved of it” is telling.
So the question this morning is a simple one, what stirs your heart to Joy? Are you looking for reasons not to be happy? What would it take to be the type of Christian that not only took into account current events but had joy in our God in spite of them? I echo the thoughts from the film Chariots of fire that God has made me for a purpose but he also made me for a runner. I would add to that that God has also made me a singer. As I have told our church multiple times, singing to God is also a type of prayer! Indeed, “His soul shall be at ease” in the Psalms is the Psalmist simply writing worship poetry to God! I can’t think of a song more suited for our time to stir joy in the Christian than the anthem “Shout to the Lord.” Is it possible, like the Christians of old who have faced countless trials, that worship not only helps us “endure the cross”(Hebrews 12:2), but also helps us change society? “Shout to the Lord” was written in 1993. The space of this article wouldn’t suffice to list the tribulations are country endured that year and the years before! Yet the song came to define a generation of Christians. May worship today do the same! “My Jesus, my Savior, Lord there is none like you…”