“They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.” Psalm 145:7 (NIV)
We can find verses all throughout the Bible that relate to celebrations. God wants us to enjoy our lives that He so graciously blessed us with. He wants us to live the abundant life, the one that His Son, Jesus, promised is ours. He is overjoyed when we learn to walk in total freedom; from sin, from self-recrimination, from feelings of loss, heartache, and from the multitude of chains that we allow to bind us, and that hold us back from truly living.
A part of life that is abundance is the joy of the Lord. This is a free gift, and is given to us at the time of our salvation. We may not recognize it at first, because often when we are saved we are living in less than ideal situations. Those can be physical, but they can also be spiritual. And even though some are immediately changed in all ways when we are radically saved, God works differently in many of us, so that we must go through a period of learning, of sharpening, of finding our way in the new Christian life we are immersed in. Every Christian will experience this to some extent, as we never stop learning. But God wants us to understand why we have a heart nudge when we start to do something today, the day after salvation, that did not bother us at all just two days before. So when we do finally see the joy of the Lord, it is a revelation of the truth of not only our love for Him, but of His love for us.
Today is the 4th of July, and we celebrate this day with remembrance of those who came before us and established this great nation. And while right now, today, it seems as if we are living in a compromised kind of freedom, we still do enjoy many freedoms that have never been given to citizens in most nations. Our forefathers sacrificed and worked hard to set up a nation that would survive, whose citizens would serve God, and one another. It is our right as Americans to celebrate the beginnings and the survival of our country. When we express the joy that is present in our lives, and give God the credit only He deserves for it, our celebrations are purely joyous events.
Jesus is Our Hope. Because He love us, and He takes joy in us, we are to feel free to celebrate Him, the Lord our God, and the Holy Spirit. Our God is a gracious, loving, and faithful God. He takes pleasure when His people celebrate life with the joy He has placed within us. He also understands and applauds laughter, merriment, dancing, all the ways we can celebrate while still maintaining righteousness. Hope itself comes with and by His joy. Therefore, take time today to CELEBRATE!
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20
How will you celebrate the Lord, and life, today?