Even in Agony, I Will Shout for Joy

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. – Psalm 100:1-3

What would make you “shout for joy?” Is it knowing that you’re the only one with the correct answer which enables you to win the grand prize?

Maybe you’re not in a “shout for joy” mood. War, natural disasters and dreadful diseases destroy lives. Local crime robs us of peace and security. Squabbles and fights in our own homes, sometimes caused by us, make us feel like shouting, but not with a shout of joy.

What makes this Psalm, this Word of God, so special is that it not only tells us to “shout for joy,” it tells the whole world to “shout for joy,” whether we feel like it or not. Why?

This Psalm gives us the answer to the most important question ever: Who is God? The answer: “Know that the LORD is God.” Note that very special name: the LORD. It was the LORD who rescued his people over and over again in the Old Testament. (Read Exodus 1-17 as an example.)

That same loving LORD also rescued you and me. He personally came to this earth for us on that first Christmas. Remember the words of the Christmas angel? “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). After living a holy life on our behalf, he died bearing the punishment we deserved for our sin. All our sins are forgiven! Then, on that first Easter, he rose from the dead to prove that through him we, too, will conquer death and gain heaven, the grandest prize of all. The Lord Jesus is the one and only God who can save us. He is the one and only way to everlasting life and joy, to the eternal security and peace of heaven.

And do you know what else is so awesome? Even though the whole world is invited to “shout for joy,” most will not and cannot. They don’t know the LORD, but you do. You know him personally. That loving and faithful LORD revealed himself to us in the Bible. He speaks to us on the pages of Scripture. He is Jesus Christ. He made you. “Through him all things were made” (John 1:3). He purchased you with his blood. “It was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed . . . but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). That makes you one of the precious sheep of his flock. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:14-15).

That’s why you and I can always “shout for joy!” Please join me right now. Don’t be afraid. “Shout for joy to the LORD!”

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that you are the LORD, that you are my way to heaven. I know that you made me, and that I belong to you. I am one of your sheep. You purchased me, yes, even a sinner like me. In faith help me always to “shout for joy to the LORD!” Amen.


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