Cultivate JOY! | #sundaynightstarter 06/03/2018

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
To sing praises to your name, O Most High;
To declare your steadfast love in the morning,
And your faithfulness by night.
Psalm 92:1-2 ESV

I am a firm believer that a well-timed, spontaneous dance party can dramatically alter the course of a day, particularly a day with toddlers. I don’t remember being three, but because I have a toddler, I feel confident in saying that being three is just.so.dang.hard. There are so many emotions that bubble right below the surface, ready to erupt at the slightest infraction, because to them, it’s not slight at all, it’s life-altering. It feels as if they may never play with their toys again when it’s bedtime. It feels as if the world is ending when it’s time to leave the park. And it must be so frustrating to have a real understanding of how to do something (i.e. climb that dangerous playground structure or open the garage door) but not have the ability to execute the task independently. At times, the only remedy for a particularly challenging day in our house is to throw on some praise tunes (or PJ Mask songs!) and dance our hearts out.

Being three is hard, but being an adult can also prove difficult some days! We need to cultivate joy by giving thanks and declaring truth over our lives as well, because we can also be prone to emotional turbulence. One reason that I love these verses in Psalm 92 is that there is a real feeling of rejoicing! The Psalmist declares that it is good to sing praises to the Lord. It is good to give thanks, to be happy for all that He has done. It is good to do this out loud and to each other. There is something about giving thanks and singing praises that lightens the load our soul is carrying.

I also love the Psalmist’s instruction to declare the Lord’s steadfast love in the morning and His faithfulness by night (v2). What a wonderful way to bookend our days. As I read this, I was trying to imagine how my ordinary days would be altered by doing the relatively simple tasks put forth in this Psalm:

In the Morning, Declare the Lord’s Steadfast Love
What if I awoke each morning and, out loud, declared the steadfast love of Jesus by reminding my heart and family of how much He loves us and is for us?

In the Evening, Remember How the Lord was Faithful
What if I remembered His faithfulness before my head hit the pillow at night? What if dinner meant speaking to each other about how God was faithful that day? Oh how I believe this would serve to alleviate the barrage of anxiety and what-ifs that keep me awake well beyond a reasonable hour!

Sing a Song of Praise and Give Thanks
What if, between declaring his love and faithfulness, I made space to sing (and maybe even dance) along with songs of praise and to give thanks? To raise my voice and bob my head along to truth? To actively declare three or more things that I am grateful for?

My heart gets excited even typing this! What a difference I believe that this could make in my life and in yours. Maybe we should give it a try this week! Will you join me in the simple challenge to begin and end our days as laid out in this Psalm, and to audibly sing a song of praise* at some point in between?

I am living in hopeful anticipation of what the Lord will do as we purposefully walk this out in the coming days. I cannot wait to hear what God does in your life this week. Would you let us know in the comments or find us on Instagram and share with us there? We will be on IG this week posting reminders of God’s love and faithfulness, and we’d love for you to follow along!

And just because we love them, here is a free printable for you to use during the week!

For further reading on the power of song, see John Piper’s article and video titled, Ambush Satan with Song. It is powerful!

*Some song suggestions for your singing or dance parties this week:
Run Devil Run, by Crowder
I Just Need U, by Toby Mac
Witness, by Jordan Feliz
joy., by for King and Country
Freedom Hymn, by Austin French
When We Pray, by Tauren Wells

Cultivate JoyPIN cultivate joy (4)

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