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Shout for joy to God, all the earth!


Nov 20, 2020
An Emoji Devotions for Fri, June 11 2021

Topic: Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

By H.U. Wenger

Highlights: Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:20)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all under-standing, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4 – 7)

If you can make it, take the time to read Psalm 66 in its entirety. Often times the burdens of our lives put us so much down that shouts of joy seem impossible for us. By listening to the Psalmist we have to admit that he went through a lot that will not have provoked shouts of joy. Nevertheless he wants to shout, he wants to rejoice, he wants to glorify his wonderful Savior and Lord. His eyes are not on the dire difficulties, but on the excellent trouble shooter and helper, who is second to none and can do much more than we can think and dare praying for. He does not get joy and praise out of the predicaments he has been guided through. His praise and joy are born out of the marvelous experiences he has made with God. He never rejected his prayers and he never diverted his precious love from him. He has always proven bigger, stronger and way superior to every possible trouble that came his way.

We are not to rejoice in the circumstances of our lives. Much more we are to focus on the Lord for whom no calamity is a problem and with whom we get enabled to go through perceived difficulties, with a merry and joyful heart.

Years ago, I was in the middle of my theological studies and was preparing for my second Graecum. As a work student, I was always late in the evenings and at four o’ clock in the morning the clock reminded me to get up and translate the New Testament from Greek into German. On the particular morning I still remember, I was on the passage of Philippians 4, as I have cited above. I was sleepy; I was grumpy, full of self-pity and envy of my wife, who was fast asleep. The text: “Rejoice in the Lord …” provoked anger within me and I was very close to go back to bed. I would much rather have shown my anger to all than my gentleness. As I tried to translate on, it suddenly hit me that in a long time I had not done what the text invited to. So I began to pray, to lament to the Lord how much I am under pressure because of the upcoming exam. I thanked for the privilege to study; admitted how much I feel that the exam is over the top of my head and I pleaded for the help of the Lord. I cannot remember any more for how long I was in prayer, but as I went back to my desk, I was totally changed. My circumstances, which were actually quite hard, had not changed, but I felt peace, I felt joy and thankfulness. By turning away from the present givens of life and clinging to the Lord, the one and only giver of joy, peace and life, my soul got restored and healed.
Whether you are merry today or grumpy and envious as I was, turn your eyes to Jesus. If you manage to change your focus and your attitude today, I invite you together with Nehemiah, after Ezra had publicly read the law: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to cling to you and to participate in your joy. Thank you that