Dear God, Give Us Joy

As you open this devotional, prepare your heart for worship with song to the Lord.
Hallelujah for the Cross
Chris McClarney
Psalm 67:3-5

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

When we pursue joy from temporary things we, at best, can catch temporary joy. Our pursuit of joy in temporary things is more often than not a Trojan horse which appears to be a gift but in reality, is the enemy of our security. Many people have pursued joy in relationships only to find out broken people are broken. We look for joy in jobs only to discover we missed precious time with our spouse, children, and friends that we can never get back. Addictions form as we pursue worldly joy. We get a shot of joy to the brain only to come down to the sad reality we call life. The good news is we can have eternal joy with God. The joy God gives accompanies us through all the hills and valleys with all their horror and heights. God’s joy does not destroy all ill happenings in life, but it is there in our tears, defeats, and doubts. God’s joy is “unspeakable and full of glory.” This is the joy I have and the joy others want to have. This joy is given to the nations through spreading the good news of Jesus Christ empowered by our received mercy, blessing, and shining. 

What is the purpose of making God’s name and way known to the nations? The nations are sad and in ruin, but faith in the name of Jesus Christ makes people glad they are at fellowship and not war with God. People become glad they are forgiven, indwelt, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It makes them glad their life has a purpose, glad there is something greater than the law, glad there is a King supreme over all the happenings on earth. It makes them glad, glad, glad, infinitely glad that “Our God Reigns!”

In the gladness of the nations we see and hear rejoicing. Songs burst forth in praise, prayers are made in thanksgiving, and gifts are distributed one to another in love. We move the nations God-ward in their joy and rejoicing through missions both local and abroad.

In the sadness of the nations, we feel and see bitterness, division, and desperation. Nations need more than money, food, and medical supplies. These are blessings we have and are to share, but with the intention of making God’s name and way known. I can give my blessings away for many reasons, but gladness and rejoicing only come through the name of Jesus. We live in a sad world; a world where bad news flourishes. We occupy a world void of joy. The best the world can muster up is a healthy, short life, with a decent job and education. And if you think that is enough to fill your joy, you are dead wrong and as shallow as a lost person in your thinking. When we make God’s name and salvation known to the world, we give the world joy they cannot find anywhere else. God, help us desire to make the nations glad in your name! How can we make the nations glad? What can we pray, do, or give? 

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