SCRIPTURE: Psalm 100
It’s frustrating when we don’t feel in control of our emotions, especially when scripture encourages certain feelings. In this Psalm, we are told to serve, come into God’s presence, enter God’s gates and courts, give thanks to God, and bless God. However, these actions are not enough on their own; they are to be accompanied by feelings. Serve the Lord gladly. Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and praise. These emotions can be summed up as joy, and verse 1 fittingly starts by saying, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.”
So, what are we supposed to do when we don’t feel glad about serving God; when we don’t feel like singing in God’s presence; when we don’t feel much thankfulness or admiration towards God; when we don’t feel joy?
The Psalmist gives us statements of truth both to remind our hearts of and to praise God with. Bringing our hearts to praise God, even when we don’t feel like it, cultivates joy! Let’s look at five truths in this Psalm given to us so that we might preach them to our hearts and praise God for them.
1. Know that the Lord is God. Sometimes, without realizing it, we have put ourselves in the position of God. We behave as if we are in control as if we should have everything figured out as if all is dependent upon us. Acknowledging that God is God and we are not, takes the pressure off of us. We accept that whatever we are struggling with is not ultimately in our control.
2. Know that God made us. This truth causes us to acknowledge our position as creation, not Creator. It reminds us that because God made us, he understands us. We are following a God who can empathize with us. We can expect to be met with grace and patience from Him.
3. Know that God is our shepherd. Shepherds watch over their sheep because they are valuable to them. Sometimes we forget how closely God is watching over us. We forget that God presides over everything in our life. When we forget this, we may feel alone. We may feel that it’s up to us to fix ourselves or to control our lives to make sure everything turns out okay. When we stop and realize there is someone watching over us and taking care of us, it takes away the loneliness. Stress diffuses when we realize we are not the only ones watching over our lives. Our shepherd is in control, and he is watching so closely.
4. Know that God is good. Not only can we trust that God is in control, understands us, and is taking care of us, but He is also good. That means that we can trust Him. It would be of no comfort if the one in control did not have our best interests in mind. But, we can rest, knowing that everything God does is for His glory and our good.
5. Know that God’s love and faithfulness lasts forever. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. There is nothing that could cause God to leave us or abandon us. In light of these truths, there is nothing we struggle with or face that could remove us from the two things we need most: God’s love and faithfulness.
Lord, you are God, and I am not. I praise you for being in control.
You are Creator and I am Your creation. I praise you for your understanding of me and your knowledge of what’s best for me.
You are my shepherd. I praise you for carefully watching over me.
You are good. I praise your trustworthiness.
Your love and faithfulness towards me never fail. I praise you for your dedication to me.
Thank you for the joy of these truths. Amen.
REFLECT:Which one of the 5 truths mentioned in the passage sticks out to you the most?
- God is God. He is in control.
- God made me. He can empathize with me.
- God is my shepherd. He is watching over my life.
- God is good. I can trust him.
- God’s faithfulness lasts forever. He will never abandon me.
Reflect on how this truth applies to a current situation.