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Be joyful

Let’s be joyful.

Something to read

The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

- Psalm 126:3.

Something to think about

I was a bit of a late convert to the Psalms. For a long time I found them rather tedious and so I decided to look at them more closely and suddenly I had that realisation, obvious to many already, that these were real gems within the Bible.

They contained all kinds of emotion from sadness to joy, anger and pain, excitement and praise. The Psalms, if we feel we need it anyway, give us permission to be completely honest to God, who knows our thoughts and feelings anyway. Indeed, it is fairly therapeutic when we’re angry or upset to let our emotions out and there’s nobody more equipped to handle those emotions than God. 

It’s clear from the Psalms that letting out our negative thoughts can be wise but this verse from Psalm 126 is a reminder also that we need to let out our praise and not to take for granted the good things that happen to us. I heard of someone a while ago who, in their prayers at night, thought of three bad things that had happened that day and then thought of three good things. These would form part of his prayers as he laid them before God, but whatever the day had brought, it would end with praising God.

Throughout the world millions of people have very little in terms of material things compared to many of us in the developed world and yet they will often recognise great joy in the small things. 

Christian Aid seeks to bring relief to people and that relief can literally be life transforming. As lives are transformed there is more praise and more joy! So for the small things and the big things let’s be joyful and celebrate all that the Lord has done for us.

Something to do

In times of prayer in the morning, think of two things or situations you are worried about, and two things you are really looking forward to for the day. Lay them before God, asking to remind you of the Lord’s presence with you in all things. At the end of the day, lay out three bad things that have happened in the day and three good things, and praise the Lord that through whatever we have done, God has remained with us.

Something to pray

Lord Jesus, thank you for all the good things you give to me. Help me to be joyful in all things knowing that you love me and you are with me, and may that joy be recognised by others who will see something of you in me and want to know you better. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Canon Ian Rees, Rector of Central Swansea, at the time of writing.