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In today’s One Year Bible reading in Psalm 33:1–11, the Psalmist calls those who are righteous to praise the Lord with joyful singing and with musical instruments played skillfully. Such praise is the appropriate response for the redeemed, for it’s only through Jesus’ redemptive work that one can be made righteous. (In fact, such praise is the appropriate response from all the people of the earth, whether or not they know Him.) And this song of praise should be new every day—a fresh appreciation for who God is and what He’s done.

Such praise is the appropriate response for God as creator, who brought everything into being by the word of His mouth. It’s the appropriate response for God as sustainer, who holds everything together by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3). And it’s the appropriate response for God as the sovereign ruler whose purposes cannot be thwarted by people, nations, or even Satan. God’s plans and purposes—which are always right, true and loving—stand firm forever!

So let us always praise the Lord with all we are and all we have, and let that praise be new and fresh every day!

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What brings us joy?

God doing great things for us, in accordance with His promises;                          Seeing the results of our labor and investment.

Today’s One Year Bible reading of Psalm 126 reflects on the joy the Jewish exiles felt when God brought them back to Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity. They had been in Babylon because of their parents’ sin—their unfaithfulness to God. But God hadn’t given up on them during those years of captivity. He was working out His purposes, rooting out their idolatry. When that time of chastening ended, God, in His graciousness—and in fulfillment of prophecy—brought the people back to the land He had given them. The exiles returned home to Jerusalem with joy, and the nations around them noticed what God had done, giving praise to Him.

Now cured of their idolatry, the exiles desired that God would rebuild and renew their nation.

The psalm also remembers the difficulty the exiles faced, cultivating land that had been neglected for many years. They labored under difficult circumstances, sowing their seeds even in adversity and pain. But their persistence would bring a joyful harvest—not only of crops, but of people returning to the land of Israel.

Galatians 6:9 is a good application of this to us: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (NLT) May the joy of the Lord be our strength, and in the words of composer Jon Mohr, “May all who come behind us find us faithful.”


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