Shout to God with cries of joy!

Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.

For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.

Psalm 47:1-2

Shout for joyI find that the world always seems a cheerier place when I reflect on all the reasons I have to be joyful. Of course there are times in everyone’s lives when things seem rather bleak and depressing. It is precisely at those points when it is important to think about the blessings that we all have in our lives. Even when things are going well, though, it is useful to think of reasons to be joyful. Why not pause right now and think of two or three things to be thankful for.

Today’s verses from Psalm 47 are bursting with joy. Right from the first lines we’re told to clap our hands and shout to God with cries of joy! God’s word tells us to be joyful. What a wonderful revelation it is to know that God wants us all to be happy! He doesn’t want us to endure our lives, but to enjoy them, to be happy in our daily existence.

What do we have to be joyful about? Well, the Psalmist addresses that very question. We should be joyful because God is awesome and is ruler over everyone, everywhere. Now, just occasionally (very occasionally, admittedly!) my pupils tell me that a lesson I taught them was ‘awesome!’ I take that to mean that my lesson was pretty good, exciting and fun. That, of course, is not what awesome really means. Awesome really means to inspire awe; to cause you to look at something, to think about something, or to reflect on something and think, ‘wow, that is absolutely astonishing, completely amazing!’ Sometimes we might encounter something that makes us think like that, but not very often. God, on the other hand, is truly awesome. We should be astonished every day by our God. We should be astonished by the beauty of creation, by the mystery of life, by the fact that he loves us. We should be astonished by the fact that God loves us so much that he sent his son to die for us. We should be astonished that God knows our every thought and has a plan marked out for our lives. Our God truly is awesome! How could we not, therefore, respond to God by clapping our hands and shouting cries of joy!

Why not make a resolution right now to take time out of your day today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, to shout to God with cries of joy? Why not make a list of all the reasons that you have to be joyful to God? When you’re feeling low take time to look back at your list. You’re sure to feel better afterwards!

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