“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” ~ Psalm 100:1
The first verse of this famous Psalm is a simple command: “Make a joyful noise…”. And it is useful to note that in the command there is neither mention nor accommodation for our feelings or for our circumstances.
- The verse does NOT say, “Make a joyful noise… if you feel good.”
- The verse does NOT say, “Make a joyful noise… if you have a job.”
- The verse does NOT say, “Make a joyful noise… if you are healthy.”
The reason for making a joyful noise has nothing to do with us, but it has everything to do with God. We praise God because He tells us to do so. We glorify God because of who He is.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” ~ Revelation 4:11
Whenever worship depends on our feelings or our circumstances, then worship is focused on us, not on God.
The first step to thanksgiving—the first step in developing an “attitude of gratitude“—is learning to take our eyes off our concerns, our feelings, our hang-ups, and focusing exclusively on Him. We must first forget our selves to truly praise our God.
Here is an example of what that means:
“When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…” ~ Acts 16:23-25
In closing, let us consider these words from an old hymn (by Helen Lemmel):
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.