Join us today for an episode about the ties between gratitude and joy...
Today's episode is focused on Psalm 100...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Psalm 100. I share how we are called to gratitude and joy. I also talk about how they fit together.
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Episode 1373 Our Hymn of Grateful Praise
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[00:01:35] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about Psalm 100. I share how we are called to gratitude and joy, and I also talk about how those two things fit together. Psalm 100 is called a psalm of thanksgiving. It says, Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness. Come into his [00:02:00] presence with singing.
[00:02:01] Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us and we are his. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him. Bless his name for the Lord is good. His steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations.
[00:02:26] You know, today I, I mentioned this is called a hymn of thankfulness. You'll hear it called a hymn of grateful praise. You hear a lot about gratitude, but we're also talking about joy as well. And gratitude and joy are not the same thing, but they are definitely intertwined and connected togethers. In some ways, they seem to be indistinguishable.
[00:02:54] Certainly from the outside, somebody looking in, if you're feeling joy or you're feeling gratitude, [00:03:00] they look like each other a lot of times. You're feeling gratitude, and it looks like you're feeling joy, and you're feeling joy, and it looks like you're feeling gratitude. The way we express it to others often comes across like they're one thing.
[00:03:15] And if we wanted to, we could go down this big chicken and egg kind of conversation. Which comes first, gratitude or joy? Does gratitude and having a life of gratitude where you're focusing on the things that you're grateful for and the blessings that have come to you, does that lead to joy? Or is it having a joyful outlook that then turns around and lets us recognize the things that we are grateful for, even those things that maybe aren't obvious?
[00:03:43] And the answer is, of course, yes, being grateful lets you focus on joy and being joyful lets you focus on gratitude. There's a feedback loop between the two things. And I think this psalm actually echoes [00:04:00] that. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness or gratitude. Know that the Lord is God.
[00:04:10] are his. These phrases recognize that idea of a psalm of thanksgiving is about recognizing that we should be grateful. To point out to the world that this is what it means to be thankful to God. This is what it means to be a sacrifice on the altar of worship. This is what it means to say a life of gratitude is what we are called to do.
[00:04:41] Thankfulness should cover all areas a lot of life. It should be a default way of approaching the world. It should affect everything about our attitude and the way we live. And yet there's also in this psalm an echo of an indication that we're making a [00:05:00] commitment to God and we're making a choice. We're choosing to be grateful.
[00:05:05] We're choosing to focus on a grateful life. That there is a sacrifice here, a cost here, an effort on our part. And I think that's true because I know often for me, finding things to be grateful for can be a challenge. Recognizing that the world doesn't always revolve around me, that I'm not the center of the universe.
[00:05:28] Despite what sometimes I seem to act like or think like that we need to bow down in service to others and look to others needs before our own. We should enter the gates with Thanksgiving. We should come to church and worship with a grateful heart. And of course, that is true. That's absolutely something that we are called to do.
[00:05:50] But beyond that, when we walk out of the church, we're called to pass through every door. With gratitude in our minds and hearts, we're, we're [00:06:00] called to enter our own homes, grateful for the family and for the fact that we've got a roof over our own head, we're supposed to be going out into the world, grateful for the abundance that we often take for granted.
[00:06:13] The fact that sometimes we have a warm place to sleep is a blessing beyond belief to someone who doesn't. And yet we don't notice that. It becomes invisible to us. We often encounter others and give thanks for the gift of life that they are in our life as well. And by the way, sometimes that includes the folks that we struggle most to get along with.
[00:06:38] We should have a lifestyle that reflects a joyful noise into the world. This isn't just about singing songs. It's also about living out our song in the words we say and in the actions that we take. Focusing on using our presence to not bring people down, but to bring [00:07:00] joy into the world around us. And if you think about it, that's a very different idea than what a lot of us seem to live out into the world.
[00:07:09] Instead of focusing on bringing joy, we often focus on pointing out what's wrong. Looking for the differences instead of what we have in common. The worshiping the Lord with gladness. That word that's translated as worship isn't about church on Sunday. It means living a life that is focused on worship.
[00:07:31] Living a life that is focused on God, doing that not just on Sunday when we show up for the sanctuary, but doing it every day of the week in our home, in our places of work, in our neighborhoods, in our playgrounds, wherever it is, we are called to worship the Lord. And that doesn't necessarily mean bowing down in prayer, but it can mean that.
[00:07:56] It means all sorts of things. It also means just being [00:08:00] focused on making sure that others around us are actually taken care of. We are commanded in this psalm to make a joyful noise, yes, but we're also commanded to know, to act differently, to look differently, and to know differently. There's something driving this gratitude.
[00:08:21] There's something driving this joy. It's knowing that the Lord is God. It is he that made us and we are his. We are his people. We are the sheep of his pasture. This idea of belonging to God is the root of our gratitude and our joy. And that, that is why joy and gratitude are always connected. Thanks for listening.
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Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. - Psalm 100: 4