“Bless the Lord, O my soul!” Psalm 103:1
“Let us rejoice in Him.” Psalm 149:2
“Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
[Part 2 of a discussion beginning with Rejoice in This! ]
Somedays are full of things to rejoice in! And then there’s those other days, often stretching into months or seasons, when we don’t rejoice at all. Difficulties, suffering, financial woes, illness, or any other number of things, overtake us. Seasons, inherent with change, all part of life, become a training ground where we struggle to rejoice in HIM, rather than in….whatever. But what does that mean, exactly??
I return to my favourite, Spurgeon, to paint a picture of what rejoicing in Him looks like:
“Be glad that the Lord reigns, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits on the throne and rules all things!
Knowing that He is wise should makes us glad, as we look at our own foolishness.
Knowing that He is mighty should cause us to rejoice, as we tremble at our weakness.
Knowing that He is everlasting should always be a theme of joy, as we consider that we wither as the grass.
Knowing that He is unchanging should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour!
Knowing that He is full of grace, the He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory–all this should tend to make us glad in the Lord.”
Spurgeon concludes with the exhortation for Christians to never “cease to sing”, for new mercies flow to them day by day!”
The lesson is not always easy. The classroom is difficult. But no matter what season we’re going through, there is a song to sing. We can begin our song search in the Psalms, where David and others expressed the same emotions as we, yet always interspersed with praise in our never-changing, always loving Heavenly Father.
The familiar hymn below is a poetic expression of Psalm 104, and gives us a starting point for rejoicing in our Lord, in spite of storms that seek to shake us from the inside-out!
Oh Worship the King
Oh worship the King all glorious above,
Oh gratefully sing His power and His love!
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty! Thy power is founded of old;
Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast like a mantle, the sea.
Thy bountiful care what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light.
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!
O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to hymn Thee above,
The humbler creation through feeble their ways,
With true adoration shall lisp to Thy Praise!
Sir Robert Grant, 1839 and William Kethe, 1561
Please worship along with Chris Tomlin’s version of this beautiful hymn in the blue Music Box to the right. Tomlin’s recording is found on the CD, Hymns Ancient and Modern, by Passion Band.
If you have a favourite Psalm, hymn, or spiritual song that encourages you to rejoice in the Lord in spite of everything else, please share it with us! We will all be encouraged!!