SING FOR JOY

October 13, 2021

I love to sing.

I enjoy creating harmonies in my mind and then trying them out with my voice. Depending upon who is nearby when I sing, I've been told both that my voice is wonderful AND ALSO that my voice is horrible. Beauty, I am told, is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps it is in the EAR as well?

One of my favorite places to sing is in Christ Church Jerusalem. During my years in Israel, I often used the Christ Church facility just inside the Jaffa Gate as my base of operations. The combination of peaceful gardens, an excellent coffee shop and friendly people was enhanced by the church itself. I would often take a "worship break" in the afternoons and slip into the church. I had a playlist of instrumental worship songs on my phone; and I would sit in the front row, play the music and simply lift my voice to worship my King.

I've seen research online that indicates that almost 85% of us have been told by someone that we have terrible voices. Different research shows that about 60% of us sing in the shower. One wonders why we'd sing THERE? Perhaps it is because the shower is secluded. For most of us, the shower is located in the bathroom; which is a place of intrinsic privacy. Being enclosed within the shower stall or behind a shower curtain only increases the sense of isolation. As we stand there naked and alone, the tendency of most of us is to sing.

Today's verse gives us additional encouragement, whether you're singing in the shower, in Christ Church Jerusalem or anywhere else -
COME LET US SING FOR JOY TO THE LORD

God loves to hear us sing. One of the verses in Psalm 119 says, "Let the freewill offerings of my mouth please you, O Lord." When we choose to lift our voices to Him in song, it is pleasing to His heart. He encourages us in His word to come before Him with JOYFUL SONGS. And even if the person who said you have a terrible singing voice was right, God says it's fine if we just make a JOYFUL NOISE. So whether your voice would make Pavarotti jealous or not, you have the ability to lift up a song of praise.

I have been intrigued by the clause "FOR JOY" in this verse. Was King David saying that the joy God brings to us ought to result in us lifting our voices in song to Him? Or was he saying that IF YOU NEED JOY, then you should sing unto the Lord? The short answer is YES!

Both as a response to joy and as a request for joy - LIFTING OUR VOICES and singing in worship is an excellent strategy. It is easy to sing when our hearts are overflowing with joy. But when the battle rages and the final outcome is as yet unseen, choosing to sing a song of praise to God is a weapon of immense value. Not so long ago, Bethel Music released a song entitled "I RAISE A HALLELUJAH" that speaks to this aspect of worship that I refer to as "WARFARE WORSHIP."

Let your heart be lifted as you read these lyrics ….

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me

I'm gonna sing in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

So, come on! Let loose! Lift up your voice and sing out to God …. FOR JOY !!! It doesn't matter if you're singing because you ARE joyful or because you NEED joy. SING !!!

Let the HALLELUJAH be louder than the fear and the doubt. SING LOUDER.

And even if you're on oxygen and can hardly speak, let the song ring out in your heart. Up from the ashes of the burning battles let hope arise.

COME LET US SING FOR JOY TO THE LORD

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