Leap for joy, sing with praise
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and with my song I praise him.
Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
For vast swathes of the world the conundrum of the modern age is that while we enjoy so much material affluence and technological advancement, there is so much discontentment, sorrow and depression. There seems to be a lack of joy and praise in many lives. How can we have the joy in our hearts that makes us leap like new born lambs and places a song on our lips?
We can look at King David’s comments in the psalm above and come away with the impression that there are two distinct themes being expressed. First, that God is David’s saviour: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped…’ Secondly, that David was a joyful and grateful person, as he continues, ‘My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.’ Both of those points are true, but to read the verse in this way misses a key element of what David is saying.
The first and second parts of this verse are connected, as the parallelism shows. The Lord is mentioned in lines one and four and David’s heart is mentioned in lines two and three. David is showing that it is precisely because the Lord is his strength and shield that he can trust him and receive help, therefore he could leap for joy and have a song of praise on his lips.
People often search for happiness and contentment in a big bank balance or in the latest gadget that has come onto the market, but eventually the realisation dawns that real satisfaction cannot be found in those things. When that happens, joy dissipates and discontentment and depression can set in. The only source of lasting joy is the recognition that the Lord is our Protector, Sustainer, and Saviour. He is our ultimate satisfaction.
Whatever you are going through in life, ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous shaken.’ (Psalm 55:22). The Lord is our ‘rock’… who hears our cries for mercy…and will be our shepherd, carrying us forever (Psalm 28:1, 6 , 9). That knowledge alone should fill us with joy and praise.
Let’s resolve to go forward day by day, casting our cares on the Lord, trusting in his protection, his help and ultimate salvation. The result will be greater joy in our lives and, like David, we will be able to sing a grateful song.
Father you are more precious than any possessions and more valuable than gold. Please put a skip of joy in our step and desire on our tongue to praise you, for you are our delight and satisfaction. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Study by Barry Robinson
About the writer:
Barry Robinson is a Minister in Grace Communion International and is Regional Pastor for Southern England.
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