“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:2–3, NIV84)
I was a missionary for years before starting New Life Church. My focus was in Communist and formerly Communist countries. They were sad, depressed places – except for one group of people: Christians. The Christians were in the same situation, often worse, but remained joyful.
Today, Christians in China face prison sentences for meeting together for worship. They are unemployed or underemployed. They are followed and watched. Yet, despite their persecution, they are joyful.
One of the reasons the persecuted church continues to grow by leaps and bounds around the world is because of this fact: “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” A Christian can be in the same dire circumstances as everyone else and still be joyful. It’s attractive. Paul wrote to the Philippians, while chained in a cell, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice!” His joy in chains was noticed and appreciated by his captors (see Phil. 1:13).
The psalmist says the same thing: The nations took note of Israel’s joy.
So, here we are, stuck in the middle of the Novel Coronavirus covidiocy. We’re reminded daily: “We’re all in this together!” Here’s my question: Will people take note of our joy? Will we stand out among our depressed neighbors and co-workers? Will our mouths be filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of joy?
I hope you will join us on Sunday as we continue our sermon series “On the Road” and discuss Psalm 126…it describes how we can have joy in the midst of trials.
Hope to see you face to face very soon!