Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into His presence with singing! – Psalm 100:2
Scripture reading: Psalm 100:1-6
Since joy in our salvation carries over to joy in all God’s blessings, it is not surprising that when the psalmist writes about worship he often includes joy. Throughout the Psalms, God’s people are often instructed to lift up their voices in praise. Think, for example, of how often the word “Hallelujah” is used in the Psalms. Psalms 113-118 are called the “Hallel” Psalms and the final five Psalms (146-150) all end with the same word, “Hallelujah.” Hallelujah means “Let us praise the Lord.”
It seems to me that joy is an essential ingredient in praise. Praise is the believer’s joyful response to who God is and what He has done. I cannot help but wonder what is happening in a person’s heart when we begin worship with singing that great hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and it looks as though he or she is singing about their next dentist appointment. I cannot judge such a thing, but it appears as though there’s little praise going on. When you gather for worship, are you “serving the Lord with gladness?”
To praise the Lord with joy does not mean that the Christian never experiences sorrow or pain. In fact, true repentance means there is a real sorrow for our sins. But even so, the believer’s sorrow should never be separated from the conviction that, as the hymn writer so beautifully penned, “It is well with my soul.” Christ has overcome and I am His. That conviction cannot help but overflow into joyful praise!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that as you worship today, your worship would be a sincere response of joyful praise to God who is worthy, and that not only you, but your church congregation would have the reputation of worshipping the Lord with gladness.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen is the minister of Coram Deo Reformation Church(URC) in Littleton, Colorado.