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More Psalms of Joy

I recently learned that, to move the needle on our faith--that is to grow in faith so that it impacts our everyday life--we must engage with scripture four times per week.  It seems like almost everyone is looking for a deeper connection with God to help us navigate this season of COVID-19 and all of its complications.  What's more, many of us are also seeking to understand God more as we question personal decisions, civil issues, and attempt to find our place and purpose in this changing world.  That means we all should be digging into scripture more often.

Today I have seven more Psalms of Joy to help us connect to the Lord in prayer and praise each day for another week.  As you read, you will see that joy can be found in a variety of situations and despite the most difficult of circumstances.  I pray that these passages resonate with you at a deep level, drawing you into his presence and bringing healing transformation as the Holy Spirit himself ministers to you while you read.

Seven More Psalms of Joy (If you missed the first seven, you can find that post here):

If Psalm 43 is a song, it is actually an additional verse to Psalm 42 that cries out for God to intervene before ending with a return to joy and encouragement.  Try reading them together for the full picture of praising God and finding joy in all circumstances.
To enter the place of worship, meet my exuberant God, Sing my thanks with a harp, magnificent God, my God.  Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?  Why are you crying the blues?  Fix my eyes on God—soon I'll be praising again.  He puts a smile on my face.  He's my God.  (MSG)

Psalm 51:10-12 offers a prayer of David, who is once again facing up to God regarding sin.  This time he has committed adultery and caused the death of his mistress' husband.  Whatever sin we are facing, we can do so with a prayer like this that begs for spiritual restoration made complete with joy.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 65 (especially verses 8 and 13) expresses joy in nature.  These are some favorites of mine as I always feel more connected to God when I get out in nature--or even stare out the window at something green.  Remembering that God made all of the earth and filled it with living things stirs up my own creativity as well.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy…The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.

Psalm 67 begins with lines that echo the blessing God gave Moses for the children of God (from Numbers 6).  This short Psalm then just is full of praise for God and is a wonderful passage to read aloud--or even sing, clap, shout, jump, and motivate those around you to praise as well.
May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.  May the nations be glad and sing for joy...

Psalm 105:43 comes toward the end of a passage that encourages us to "remember the wonders he has done" and then recounts the faithfulness of God.  Like a page from someone's journal centuries ago, we are encouraged by his goodness then and motivated to focus on his goodness, faithfulness and joy in our own lives (perhaps even to write ourselves).
He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy!

Psalm 126 would be sung as the people walked up the hill to the temple.  It speaks of the joy of being able to return to their land and their place of worship after having been in exile.  Though the song is full of joy, that joy is contrasted against sorrow and weeping.  Isn't it true that we all will be so much more appreciative of our gatherings now that we have experienced what it is to live without them?  And this is a great reminder that God is still in our midst; this difficult season will not last forever.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

The lines of Psalm 132:15-16 are words of God's promise for his people, again sung as they ascended the hill to worship at the temple in Zion.  Passages of promise historically provide hope in difficult times as they draw attention to the fact that conditions like poverty and sorrow are not God's plan; he is always working to restore his provision and joy.
I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.  I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.

If you have found these encouraging, share them with someone!

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