We rejoice in all things, even in our sufferings, for we know that God is with us, that his mercy is forever, that in him we have found only goodness and kindness. He has set us free from the chains of sin and death. Yes. We rejoice and are glad.
This psalm is a shout of joy to the One God. At its beginning it is full of the power of a storm full of dark clouds, fiery lightning and the earth trembling, and the mountains melting before him. The heavens themselves seem to be proclaiming his righteousness. The Divine Ruler of all has been recognized by the people and they have come to see his glory. This realization that there is but One God has put to shame those who still worship idols. All of creation above and below now bows reverently to worship the Creator of all that is.
The psalmist tells us that every village of Judah rejoices in this knowledge. This is our joy as 21st century Christians as well. We believe in and follow the “the Most High,” the One God who has revealed himself to us, not in a burning bush, not in a gentle whisper, but in the flesh, in the very Person of Jesus Christ. Because of this we have been shown the way to live in the world, yes, even today. We have seen, and been touched by, the love of God. We know him personally. He has come among us and shown us the depths of his love, his concern, his compassion, his mercy, and his forgiveness. Yes, we rejoice like the psalmist. We rejoice in all things, even in our sufferings, for we know that God is with us, that his mercy is forever, that in him we have found only goodness and kindness. He has set us free from the chains of sin and death. Yes. We rejoice and are glad.
The psalmist tells us:
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” (verse 10)
As Christians we are not to tolerate evil in any of its manifestations, public or private, because we know it is an abomination, a blasphemy, a profanity and that, for all of this, it is as nothing in comparison to the eternal love of God. We do not fear evil, for we know that God is great! He is all and evil is nothing. Because we have seen this we have given ourselves over to God alone. This is why we can echo the psalmist when he shouts joyfully:
“Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.” (verse 11)
We rejoice and give God praise, for though we were weak and sinful, the eternal God of all of Creation chose to enter into a personal relationship with each and every one of us. His love overwhelms us and we shout for joy and praise his holy name. Amen!
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