Reading: Psalm 100
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.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100 (NIV)
Psalm 100 is a wonderful psalm – short, yet full of wisdom and truth. I belong to God! That could either be good or bad, depending on God's character. But it's ok, God is good! Not only that but he loves me, and his love will last forever! He will never discard me or shift his affection elsewhere. His faithfulness is the stuff of legends. He stores up goodness for me for rainy days (see Psalm 31:19). He is the rich kind benefactor we all secretly wish we had.
The psalmist need hardly have bothered telling me how to respond. Anyone who really gets it will have that feeling of excitement and anticipation bubbling away constantly in the background, at least to some degree, and even when times are difficult. And when that joy wells up, we naturally find ourselves worshiping God and expressing our grateful thanks.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-20, Paul tells me, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 100 gives almost the same keys for living, but also reminds me of the reason I can live like that – because I belong to God, and because God is good, he loves me and he is faithful.
I need to remind myself of these things often, lest I slide away from thankfulness, joy, worship and praise, and find myself at the opposite end of the spectrum – self-absorbed, anxious, irritable and bogged down. Whenever I find that the colour has drained out of my life and that the grey tones have taken over, that will be my signal to put Psalm 100 into action:
- “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving!”, an easy place to start as there's always something I can be thankful for.
- I will remind myself that I am God's, and will submit myself once again into his care.
- I will focus my lens on these thoughts, that “the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
- Finally, I will lift up my hands and my heart to worship him.
Yep, that should fix it.
Lord God, I love the view from the colour end of the spectrum. Thank you for your plan for me to be always joyful, to be in continual conversation with you, and to be always focused on the good as I give thanks in all circumstances. I really like this plan. Holy Spirit, if ever you see me down at the grey tones end of the spectrum, please give me a prod. I want to see you fully expressing yourself through me as you fill me with your light.
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