Posted by: Jo | August 9, 2013

Jubilant Praise To The Lord

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” (Psalm 47:1)

image Our church has just completed a week of fun, fellowship and following Jesus in a day camp for youth, held in our church. The theme was Treasure Island Adventures. Treasure hunts always instill a feeling of expectation and wonder and the beautiful expectation for the children was that they would discover that they were the treasure and it was God who was actively seeking them. The completion for the camp occurred in the Sunday service which was organized and run by the youth and what a breath of fresh air it was! The participants and their youth leaders wore distinctive red shirts and as we oldies entered the church the excitement of the youngsters was infectious and the whole building was filled with an air of enthusiasm which spread throughout the whole congregation. They started with one of their camp songs and with much clapping and lots of actions they shouted with cries of joy to the Lord. I am sure the Heavenly Father was smiling as he received this riotous praise from these little ones. I thought, a little sadly, that as we become adults we lose the spontaneity of children and yet over and over again, the psalmists in particular, urge God’s people to be jubilant in praising him, not limiting uninhibited joy in worship to the young, but to all of God’s children no matter what their age.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn- shout for joy before the Lord, the King.” (Psalm 98:4-6)

So the big question I was left with at the end of this special service was; how can we be more joyful and jubilant in our praise to the Lord, not just on Sundays, but in our everyday lives?

Again I turned to the Psalmists for advice;

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Starting the day speaking with the Lord has always been a good idea, but sometimes thinking through what lies ahead can reduce our prayers to a list of pleas for help to even survive the day, with all its imagined worries, and the idea of joyful praise somehow does not feature in our prayers. What the psalmists had figured out is that when we begin with joyfully greeting the Heavenly Father, no matter what trials and tribulations we may be experiencing, and when we realize the Lord has made this day, the day ahead takes on a whole different perspective. Strangely enough we draw strength from rejoicing with praise when we come into the Lord’s presence.image

The other message in our Youth service was a powerful one. The children were asked to find God incidences which might be right close by, but were a bit like treasure, one had to look carefully to find them. What a great message for us who are older, as well, rather than focusing on our problems for us to find something beautiful to shout for joy to the Lord. The word itself, JOY, brings about that warm feeling that changes the way we look at life. I came away from that service with joy in my heart and the words of a song running through my mind.

The joy of the Lord will be my strength.

I will not falter, I will not faint.

He is my Shepherd I am not afraid

The joy of the Lord is my strength

The joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

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