Shout for Joy

“For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; *
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.”

Psalm 92:4


Today is the Feast of William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836.  The verse above comes from the set of readings appointed for his feast day.


This verse from Psalm 92 can be read in a couple of different ways… First, the joy-filled acclamation of one who firmly believes in the power and righteousness of God.  And I believe that most Christians find it easy to rejoice when things are going great–when God seems to be “on our side,” and in our estimation everything is, “as it should be,” in our lives.


But, what about the times when God seems to be against us–and we all have those times in our lives when things come undone.  Those are most easily identified when the issue is a large one, like the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, illness…times when our hearts are seemingly broken.  Perhaps we feel that we are struggling with God when everything we do seems to either be not enough, or the wrong thing, or we just cannot fix/make work/correct, etc. whatever it is we are focused on.  Are those times when we should, as the Psalmist says, “shout for joy because of the works of your hands?”


YES.  Those are also times when we should rejoice.  Not rejoice because of how we feel–but because God has given us those times, those moments, those situations, people, etc. as moments when we are to rely on God.  They are moments in our lives that demand us to remember that God is the one upon whom we put our trust.  The words of Charlie Price’s “A General Thanksgiving” (see BCP p.836) come flooding into my mind:

“We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.”

Where are those moments when you need to acknowledge your dependence on God alone?  And, how can you find those as moments to rejoice?


In Christ’s Name,


About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Shout for Joy

  1. Heaven actually only shouts for joy when sinners are found and follow Jesus.

  2. It is more important that Heaven shout for joy over us than that we shout for joy; heaven shouts for joy when we are converted: we change our hearts and ways out of love for Jesus and obedience to God.

  3. Salvation and the Holy Spirit actually go hand in hand; so at the end, we do shout for joy.

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