“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music”Psalm 98:4 (NIV)
Why did you last ‘shout for joy’? Psalm 98 encourages noisy praise from the nations and all creation. This shout comes because of the hope of release from long-suffering. The suffering of Israel in exile, the nations wrestling with injustice, and creation under the bondage of decay. Psalm 98 appears to say we shout for joy when we are released from great sadness.
Jesus teaches something similar,
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh”Luke 6:21.
Did we experience a ‘shout for joy’, when we feared the worst, and we received the best? Think about that dreaded job interview, your sports team Grand Final, waiting for an uncertain medical result, performing. Did joy come when things turned out, better than hoped?
How strange of Matt Jacoby in Deeper Places to write, “the seed of joy is sadness”. Could this be why we experience only shallow joy? We believe joy is a substitute for sadness. It is no substitute at all. Joy and sadness are the flip sides of the same coin. If we try to numb the sadness, we numb our joy too.
Granted, there is too much sadness in our world and sorrow for our souls. We can still know joy. Psalm 98 sings on the other side of sadness, is our ‘shout for joy to the Lord’. God is at work! He has come. Shout! Sing! He is making all things right.