The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantlyPsalm 118:15
On a recent trip back to the village of my childhood, my father and I were driving down familiar roads. On either side of the road stand homes that are so grand they should be called mansions. My father tells me that just five decades back, before there were roads, in place of these mansions stood tiny walled structures with temporary roofing. Many homes barely had doors and almost none had electricity. Yet in the winking light of kerosene lamps, dusk was always greeted with singing and prayers offered to the Lord most high from each of these homes. Their homes were humble and their earnings meek but their praises reached the heavens anyway.

And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God—you, your sons and daughters Deuteronomy 12:13

Christians are meant to live lives that make other people stop in their tracks and wonder about the glorious, victorious, merciful God we serve. Our families are called to come together each day in the presence of God to declare how mightily He has led us thus far. We are asked to remember the blessings, gifts and victories He has given us and offer all our praises to Him and Him alone. Our songs, testimonies and stories always point to the God who saves us and lifts us up. These are to be shared generation after generation.

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemiesZephaniah 3:14-15

The greatest reason for our merriment and our gratitude is the freedom we have received in Christ. Instead of carrying the heavy yoke of sin and condemnation we have been set free to REJOICE. Our melodies and merriment come from the transformed nature of our hearts and it always points to God. Our celebrations are not merely about the new car or a successful graduation or financial outpouring, but it’s rooted in our knowledge of how God preserved us against all odds, so that our tent may be full of the sound of victory in Christ.

The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you in his love; He will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival- Zephaniah 3:16-20

God is part of your merriment. We do not have a faraway God. Our Father in heaven is not a distant figure. He is a father who gathers His children into His warmth and embrace and lets loose a shout of joy so pure it becomes our strength! His Joy over your salvation and reunion with Him is part of the relationship you now have with God. This exultation and celebration is reflected in the parable of the prodigal son returning and the father rejoicing over him filling the home with merriment of a father who says “My son was lost but now he has come back to me!” (Luke 15: 22-24)

So rejoice and be glad, for you are chosen for this purpose. Shout and sing and praise Him for He turned your mourning into dancing. When the world asks you about the smile you wear, the bounce in your steps and the song on your lips be sure to tell them what your God has done!

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