Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 18 April 21:
Psalm 47:5-9 — “God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!”
Shout for joy today! Sing Praises! He is risen! Tell the world!
If we don’t feel overwhelmed with a desire to praise God today, despite circumstances, it is because we have a wrong perspective of God and the reality of the situation at hand. Joy is an issue of perception, understanding, and focus. So, will you shout for joy today?
If you don’t feel much like rejoicing right now, these verses are not intended to be a chastisement but rather an encouragement. Good coaches don’t usually tell players what the players don’t know, they mostly remind them to practice what they do know and encourage them to grow in their abilities through that practice. Let the Holy Spirit coach you with these verses, reminding you that God is Sovereign and encouraging you to rejoice in His love and in your security in Him. Sometimes we all need to stop, refocus on the truth of the Gospel, and “rejoice,” or ‘joy again.’ Sometimes, when we don’t feel much like singing praises, we need to sing praises more often and louder! Sometimes, when God feels distant, we need to get closer to Him through Bible study, prayer, and meditation, confidently waiting upon Him with great expectation. And sometimes when we are having dark thoughts, we need to proactively replace those thoughts with positive contemplations. Of course, this isn’t always easy to do, which is why the Bible is so full of encouragement to just do it and to practice, practice, practice –
- Philippians 4:4-7 — Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:8-9 — Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
- Philippians 4:12-13, 19, 23 — I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me…. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus…. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”
Sing praises to God today for salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and for His continued provision. And share with others the truth of the Gospel, particularly with your children — “Tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.” One of our greatest responsibilities is to pass our knowledge of God to the next generation. (Psalm 48:13, 14) Let you joy through all circumstances be your testimony for God’s glory.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 Apr 21: Truly celebrate the Gospel today in your heart and with loved ones. Shout for joy today! Sing Praises! He is risen! Tell the world!