Read Psalm 100
It had been a rough couple of weeks. No single major catastrophe, just a lot of little things nipping at my heels. I was discouraged. Feeling sorry for myself, really. So when I entered worship in the gym that Sunday morning, I hoped God would see it from my perspective and join my pity party.
That’s not how God works. In fact, He does things altogether differently.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (v4).
Wanna’ know how to join God where He is? Thank Him. Wanna’ know how to rest where He dwells? Praise Him.
If you’re like me, you know that sometimes it’s easy. Like when the sun sets beautifully over the corn crops down the road and I can almost hear the earth as it shouts for joy to creator God. Or when I see God’s hand working in my children’s lives as they share Jesus with a friend.
Other times, though, it’s more difficult, this praising thing. When my kids are sick or a friend hurts my feelings. When my computer crashes and I’m looking a writing deadline straight in the eye. Or when the cats next door rip through the screen in my back porch and I can’t enjoy my morning quiet time that I’ve grown to love.
Even then, God wants my praise. He doesn’t change His gate-entry procedure according to my circumstances. God is always good. He still deserves our praise. Not only that, but He knows that when we worship Him we remember who He is. Funny, because the converse is also true: when we remember who He is, we can’t help but worship Him.
“Worship the LORD with gladness . . .” (v1).
True worship is that which is glad in who God is. Period.
“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever” (v5).
No matter where we are. No matter what we feel.
I might not be glad about the my ripped screen, but the LORD is God. He’s my God. I might be downright upset about not having a computer for a short time, but I am God’s. A sheep in His pasture under His care.
We can know God’s true presence and enter into His very place of dwelling when we choose to praise Him anyway. Only then will we find true joy.