True Joy

Key Text: Psalm 92 selected verses

A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High,

proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,

to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;

   I sing for joy at what your hands have done.

 

One thing about Christians – we should be joyful people.

Even when we are struggling, even when we are challenged or attacked for our beliefs, even when…

We should be a joyful people.

Even when we are not necessarily happy at the moment, even when…

We should be a joyful people.

I think this is what the Psalmist is getting at, though the poem was written long before Christianity began.

Praising the Lord, making music in God’s name, proclaiming God’s love, being made glad by God’s deeds, singing for joy for all God has done – these are all the things a people of faith – a Christian people – should do every day.

“In this world you shall have trouble….”

This is true.

Yet this should not, must not steal our joy from us.

We are God’s people, with an eternal destiny laid out before us.

That, above all, should bring us – and the world – true joy.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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