In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice,”(Phil. 4:4) but how could he rejoice being in prison? Maybe Psalm 126 might be a clue. Paul was literate in the Torah and understood the significance of the Psalms of Ascent. I can only envision a group of Jewish travelers climbing up toward Jerusalem singing Psalm 126, “When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.” They memorized this short poem and sang it over and over again. It not only speaks of past joy, but also hope for the future, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” In the midst of that, there is a statement about the present, “The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy” (NIV). Today, I invite you to read Psalm 126 a couple of times. Reflect on times of joy in your past and the hope you have for the future. Then repeat two or three times, “we are filled with joy, today.” How is God filling you with joy today? Then, you will be able to say with Paul, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!”
Read: Psalms 124, 125, and 126
Questions to Consider:
- Do you remember having to recite a poem or a song in your past?
- Do you recall an occasion of laughter and joy in your life?
- Do you know someone that needs hope for the future? Give them a call and encourage them with words of hope.
Activity for the Day: Recite Psalm 126 three times! Enjoy!