– Billy Sunday
I don’t know about you, but I leak. I mean as a simple clay vessel and one well over 60, I have cracks. Every time I fill up on the Word of God, over time it leaks out, so I constantly need refilling. This means that we should seek to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Yes, I believe we’re all leaky vessels and cracked pots, but remember that’s what Gideon and his 300 men used to defeat the powerful Midianite army (Judges 7). That’s reason enough to shout for joy.
Command for Joy
Has anyone ever commanded you to shout? God does in Psalm 32:11, where we’re admonished to “be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” So “shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright” (Psalm 33:1). It doesn’t say to be joyful only in your mind, in your singing, or in your speaking but to “shout for joy,” which is no small whisper! Why shouldn’t we shout for joy!? We’ve been redeemed.
Reasons for Joy
The psalmist wrote, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7). How true that is, or at least should be, in every Christian. So “may we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions” (Psalm 20:5)! Even more reason for the psalmist to be full of joy was by His saying to God, “You have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy” (Psalm 63:7).
Relationship, Not Religion
Being a Christian is not about religion but about a relationship, and that relationship is with Jesus Christ. If your religion is not changing you, then you should be changing your religion or at least your Christian walk with God. Every one of us has valleys and peaks, so we will all lack the true joy that we should have. We should look at our lives and the trials we’re enduring today against the backdrop of the eternal glory that’s going to be revealed to us someday (Rom. 8:18) and then give a great shout out to the Lord of glory for Him redeeming us.
One of the fruits of the Spirit is joy (Gal. 5:22). So if you’re missing joy, you’re missing a lot! We ought to be the most joyful people on the planet and should “clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy” (Psalm 47:1).