Wed Bible Study 17 May 2017: Psalms of Ascent Psalm 126 “To Laugh Again” Colleen Stringer
Psalm 126 (MSG) A Pilgrim Song
1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
when God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
“God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
we are one happy people.
4-6 And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
Psalm 126 v1-3 testify to something wonderful, dramatic, and gracious God did in the past. The rest of the psalm is a petition to God to do something like it again.
James Limburg “ Psalm 126 comes from a people who are living between the times, between a good time remembered and another good time hoped for.”
You may be in a similar situation today so take heart that God sees your situation. .
Psalm 27: 13-14NIV I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” confess it!
Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
- Joy does not depend upon the circumstances
Happiness depends upon what happens. Christian joy is not controlled or determined by our circumstances. The key is to constantly dip in the Word of God even in the darkest times, keep hope alive and not lose faith or deep down joy & trust in the Lord. 1 Peter 1:6-9, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
- Joy comes from the Lord
Acts 8 miracles of deliverance & healing they started to pay close attention to the message. The miracles made them sit up & think. Jesus & joy go together. This is an important point – whether or not we see miracles, it is Jesus who brings salvation, & it is His joy that fills our hearts. .” As Selwyn Hughes says, “The formula for joy is quite simple – it involves walking hand in hand with Jesus.”
- Joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit
Many of you know Galatians 5:22 & 23, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Joy is seen in a believer’s life when the Holy Spirit is in control. The Christian who is mature & who is filled with joy is someone who is attractive. They attract people to Jesus.
Christian joy cannot be shut out by circumstances or by personality. It is sometimes in the toughest of circumstances that Christian joy is the deepest & strongest. And regardless of your personality, you can experience the love & joy of the Lord in your life. John 15:10 &11
Un-confessed sin will completely rob us of joy. Psalm 51 is King David’s prayer of confession. He prays, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, & renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation & grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12) Sin clogs up the spring of joy.
Some of us might need to stop complaining & start counting our blessings, giving thanks for all the Lord has done. Praising God even when things are tough releases the deep down spring of joy. Whatever your personality, remember, every Christian has the same source of joy – the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Joy of the Lord is your strength! On this mysterious journey called life… we will find that when we do meet trials, tests, difficulties and sorrows, they were not meant to stop us…but to form Christian character because God’s plans for us are for good…to give us a future and hope…that we also will sing with joyous expression Ps 126 and laugh again…
Pray Psalm 126 over yourself.