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My Faith and Praise III ...
Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Can we be glad “in the Lord”? Already the Old Testament announces joy and happiness for those who believe in the eternal God. It proclaims that you will be filled with joy, that dancing as an expression of praise is completely adequate for believers.
Let us explore what gladness faith brings, and how it can express itself. Let us go from the Old Testament to the New Testament and look into elements of his joy. The Lord is fantastic, and highly to be praised!
A Heart full of Praise …
We are invited to have a heart full of praise. The Psalter, the songbook of the Old Testament, is full of such songs of praise, looking towards a great God!
1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! 2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! 3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! (Psalm 149)
What is causing the joy and gladness of believers? It can, of course, be something very concrete. If you got through some exam, if you managed to finish a homework, if you are recovered from illness, you feel happy and glad. There are so many things which can make you happy, it can be your family, your partner, your job, friends.
Joy can also come from the sun, the spring, rain, clouds, mountains, the sea, a river, gras, bread, olives, water, wine! There is so much in this world which can cause joy.
Joy from the Lord …
The joy which comes from the Lord is going even deeper. There is freedom in him. He loves us. He wants good things for us. He wants us to be fully ourselves. He wants us to be with him. He wants our heart to be free, to be pure, to be full of mercy and compassion.
When the spirit of the Lord comes into my heart, he cleans it. He can make me joyful. He makes me happy and glad.
Sometimes we come to the Lord with our full burden, with our hopelessness and our struggle. Yes, that is fine! That is good! He wants us to come with all of it. But he also wants us to give it to him and to be full of joy, since he is there to take all these things, and change them, transform them, take them away.
He CAN make us happy. Indeed. There is so much to be found and gained when we experience the freedom which the Lord gives to us. (Roland Potthast)