JOLT! - A Joy to Sing About
Let the whole earth shout to the Lord;
be jubilant, shout for joy, and sing.
Sing to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and melodious song.
With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn
in the presence of the Lord, our King.
Let the sea and all that fills it,
the world and those who live in it, resound.
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the mountains shout together for joy
before the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world righteously
and the peoples fairly.
While sitting in one of my favorite coffee houses I reflected on the joy I have all around me. Joy in coffee, all the different varieties I enjoy drinking. Joy in my family who live close enough to visit every day. Joy in the wonderful health I have, which hasn’t always been the case. Joy I receive from a husband who loves me without question. At the time I was sitting and enjoying a breve, “Joy to the World” began humming from the speakers in the room. Such a beautiful song that is known around the world to proclaim the joy we have in the coming of the Christ. This song, when written as a poem, was based on Psalm 98.
Psalm 98 is a song of David and proclaims excitement and joy of the whole earth over the rule of the Lord in the kingdom. The joyful shouts were a cheer welcoming the King. The psalmist was asking for people to break forth in an eruption of praise that could not be contained. Joy for the whole world for the coming of a King.
Praise is our song of joy to the King. Our worship to Him brings joy to His ears. Every time we take a moment to look around and praise Him for what surrounds us, every time we honor Him when the health report comes back positive, every time we give Him glory when we arrive to our destination safely, He feels our joy. When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds in the field, his first words were “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). That “great joy” was the truth that the God who had seemed far off had come in human flesh. The “cause” was because we would now have a joy that would surpass anything we have ever considered. A joy for a life which was to be lived out based on a plan a King put into place for us.
Praising God lets Him know that we are thankful for His appearing before us as a baby so we might be close to the living God. It allows our Lord to see that we recognize He will come again to bring joy to the world as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). Living in His presence is our fullness of joy. When we praise Him, we sing out our song of joy to the world as well. When we are in continual praise for the gifts we encounter around us, the world sees the significance of God in our lives.
Are you having concerns about what is happening in your life right now? Are you overwhelmed with your job, the news, the children, money? Life can be so stressful and we can easily become overcome with stresses. But this Psalm and the song we love to sing at Christmas time helps us to see the endless powers and promises that God has for us. When we set our problems and anxieties next to the assurance of Christ’s return, it all pales in comparison. This is why we should sing praises of unlimited joy to Him, for He is truly praiseworthy.
1 Peter 1:8-9 says, “Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” We have fiery experiences here on earth. We endure events that are difficult to understand. We suffer hardships that we wish would never exist. But even though we do not see Him now, we can rejoice because He has endured the cross for our salvation and in the end, we see His glory. His joy!
“Joy to the World” tells of His return and the joy we can have until that return, knowing that we will live forever with Him. The shout of joy and praise that will emanate from our mouths on that day will have no comparison. The shouts of joy and praise we have today in knowing we are saved, should bellow from your entire being, showing the world Christ has risen and will return for His people.
A Prayer for the Day
Lord, You are Joy! You are worthy to be praised in all things. Your glory and goodness surround all that I see and experience. Thank you for the joy you bring to my life. I pray today that my family and friends can encounter your joy everyday and in every moment. Help me to keep my focus on You in every circumstance and in every thought. Praise be to Your name for your goodness.
Make a list of the way you see Christ’s joy in your life. Name the circumstances where His joy overflows. Also, create a list of areas you would like to see His joy that may not seem apparent.