Psalms of Gladness

The Psalms are full of promise, praise, challenges and the heart cries of those who wrote them. There is also great cause for gladness to be found as we read these wonderful portions of the Word of God.

The following lovely thoughts were shared with us recently and have been recorded here for you. We trust that they will enrich the faith of those who are God's people and possibly interest those who have yet to trust in God's beloved Son to do so without delay.

Truly there is gladness to be found in the One in whom God is well pleased.

"Thou hast put gladness into my heart, more than in the time
that their corn and their wine increased"

Psalm 4: 7

Giving to our great God the first place in our life is of course the honourable thing to do. But there is a position that is even greater than 'first' - and that is to allow Him to occupy the very centre of our life, around which everything else revolves!

He desires to be the very centre of all we desire and all we do, and we will be all the more glad to know that the gladness in our heart has been placed there by God Himself. It does not stem from and is not energised from temporal things. Therefore this gladness does not depend upon whether or not we are enjoying a life without troubles and trials.

This is the character trait that makes God's people stand out from the crowd; which can and usually does lead to people asking of 'the reason of the hope that is within us.' (See 1 Peter 3: 15.)

"I will be glad and rejoice in thee:
I will sing praise unto thy name, O thou most high."
Psalm 9: 2

We are among those who have everything to be glad about when we consider the greatness and loveliness of the One who is our Lord and Saviour.

There's no one like Him. Everything about His personhood is 'Altogether Lovely'

There was not a moment of any of the days of His short life that gave to God any cause of regret or disappointment.

In Him, that is to say 'in Christ' we have everything to rejoice about; for it is 'in Him' we are acceptable to God Himself. Without the cleansing power of the blood of Christ shed on Calvary's cross where Jesus died as our substitute, we would be absolutely lost and without hope in this sad old world. He who is so holy and we who are helplessly unclean, by His immeasurable grace have everything to rejoice about.

"Therefore my heart is glad,
and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope."
Psalm 16: 9

We have an eternal hope. But this is not the empty 'wishful thinking', 'finger's crossed' type of hope that the world offers. The Christian's hope is sure and true; for our hope is resting where God is resting; and that is solely on the finished work of Christ

We have the promise of His presence and the blessed hope of His soon coming which could take place Perhaps Today!

"Thou hast made him most blessed for ever:
Thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance."
Psalm 21: 6

The countenance of God! Of course none of us have seen God's countenance at any time but we still can appreciate it and enjoy it as if we have!

Think of the two who were walking on the Emmaus Road. Their hearts were sad because of the recent events in Jerusalem. Suddenly a 'stranger' joins them and talks with them, eventually getting them to tell Him why they were so downcast. There followed what must have been the most amazing Bible commentary spoken to them by the Lord Himself. Such amazing revelations caused their heart to burn within them. And when at last they recognised Him, all their sorrow dissolved into gladness.

Let us think of Mary at the empty tomb of the risen Lord Jesus. She was exceeding sorrowful at the thought that someone may have taken away the body of her Beloved Lord. She spoke with a Man she supposed was the gardener while her heart was filled with immeasurable sadness, but as soon as she recognised that the Man speaking with her was her none other than the Lord Jesus Himself, her sorrow was dissolved into gladness also.

Now, we have never seen the face of our Lord Jesus but we know we will do one soon day. At this present time we walk by faith and 'see' Him by faith also. Peter tells us that: "Jesus Christ:Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1 Peter 1: 7-8.

If loving Him whom we have never seen before, and believing Him results in our being filled with 'joy unspeakable and full of glory', what will it be like to see Him face to face?

It is amazing to notice that exceeding gladness is associated with the countenance of the One who we have yet to see one soon coming day.

"I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy:
for thou hast considered my trouble;
thou hast known my soul in adversities."
Psalm 31: 7

Gladness in the mercy of God.

God has divinely withheld His righteous judgement deserved by us on account of our sin because of His satisfaction in the finished work of Christ His beloved Son and all He accomplished on the cross.

If it were not for Him we would not have anything to be glad about at all!

It is because God is satisfied that we can be glad!

Without the cross there would be no mercy for us and we would be without hope in this life and after we die. What trouble and adversities we would have without His mercy. O how very much we are indebted to Him!

"There is a river, the streams thereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High."
Psalm 46: 4

Rivers! Great ones or small ones are alike pleasurable to God. More often than not the source of the river is hidden but onward it moves with purpose, and wherever it river flows there is an abundance of life.

Surely this is a picture of the gatherings of God's people. Some are large and some are small. Some perhaps are little streams and yet no matter how small they speak of refreshment to God. Are we anything like this? Do we bring any gladness to God when we gather together with His people.

There is a comforting aspect to this verse also; for God does not value the larger river over the little stream. All it takes is two likeminded godly people; for the Lord  promised: "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18: 20. He also promised: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12: 32.  So the little streams or 'little flocks' need not feel intimidated by the large flowing 'rivers' when it is the purpose of the universal Church to bring honour, glory and gladness to our great God and Father.

"Make me to hear joy and gladness;
that the bones thou hast broken may rejoice."
Psalm 51: 8

This is a call for the listening ear and discerning spirit. There are times when we as God's children are called to go through times of suffering, and a prayer is lifted to the Throne of God that He would grant to his suffering servant the ability to 'hear' gladness even during those dark moments when we walk alone.

There God comes in all of His tenderness with lessons for us to learn that we would never learn otherwise. These will be treasures no one will ever be able to take away. Treasures to enriching our inmost being, and treasures we will take away with us when we pass from this scene of time into His presence.

"Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50: 10

"The humble shall see this, and be glad:
and your heart shall live that seek God."
Psalm 69: 32

Humility is a characteristic in the life of His people that is pleasing God. After all, we have nothing whatsoever to boast about or to be proud about except our Lord and Saviour and His cross.

"Lord forbid that I should boast,
Save in the cross of Christ my God.
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood."
Isaac Watts

Humility is remembering who we really are and never to rise above our station

We were wretched in the sight of a holy God and by His grace we have been made acceptable through His beloved Son and in Him alone.

Humility is a Christ like characteristic which is probably why God favours this and not foolish and destructive pride.

"Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart."
Psalm 97: 11

"The righteous shall be glad in the LORD and shall trust in Him;
and all the upright in heart shall glory."
Psalm 64: 10

There is much gladness to be found in the Lord's ways. His standards are wholesome and profitable in every way. Unfortunately human standards are far removed from God's. People have lost their way and make up the rules as they go, but God's standards remain the same as they ever have done because He and His Word never change.

God's standards are like the 'light' which the righteous love but the unrighteous hate. And why is that? "... This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." John 3: 19.

"Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing."

Psalm 100: 2

How could any of us who love the Lord, knowing we have been purchased at such a great price ever find gladness in living as we please? It is a great joy to our hearts to serve the One who: 'loved us and gave Himself for us. (See Galatians 2: 20)

Serving our beloved Lord and Saviour not only brings to our hearts gladness but brings gladness to His heart also. And who wouldn't want to bring gladness to the heart of Almighty God?

"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble,
and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Then are they glad because they be quiet;
so he bringeth them into their desired haven."

Psalm 107: 20-30

The Lord, our great comforter graciously answers the heart cries of His needy people

The lessons we learn during the storms of life will become treasures that we will never lose. These are appreciations of our Lord that only stormy experiences can bring to be treasured both in life and for eternity.

Perhaps we can better appreciate the joy the Lord's disciples knew after He stilled the storm and calmed the sea? Only the Lord could do such a thing, and they were the only ones to witness this great event.

It is desirable to wait with humility in the midst of our troubles for the Lord to create a place of calm and rest; for true gladness associated with this type of calm. This is certainly something the world does not possess; therefore cannot give!

"I was glad when they said unto me,
Let us go into the house of the LORD."

Psalm 122: 1

What does fellowship mean to us? Is it something that we wait for with glad anticipation?

Fellowship brings gladness to our hearts and in-between the times when we are together we ought to be preparing and looking forward to the next time. We have so much to look forward to and after all, our fellowship together ought to be a foretaste of things to come when we shall all gather together in the very presence of our beloved Lord and Saviour who we long to see face to face.

"The LORD hath done great things for us;
whereof we are glad."

Psalm 126: 3

When we take a little time to stop and appreciate what the Lord has done for each of us personally, we surely cannot help but express those lovely words in the above verse.

He left the heights of heaven, His Father's Throne and the adoration of angelic beings to come into this scene of time to be the One whom the world regected. But more so, to be the One who would not only demonstrated the character of God before all who cared to see but ultimately to go to the cross to die as our substitute. What a mighty work He completed there on Calvary's hill, completely satisfying His Father by answering the question of sin forever!

Truly He has done all things well and we are surely we have every reason to be very glad!

D. Woodside