In the latter part of Psalm 40, David said to search for the Lord and be filled with gladness. And why shouldn’t those who love His salvation be glad in the Lord?
But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” Psalm 40:16
I attended a conference recently. As the speaker made his presentation he talked about different attitudes we may acquire.
He said we cannot effectively be a positive influence on others if we don’t maintain a heart of gladness. Then he made a very interesting comment that has stuck with me.
He related a person to the process of getting a picture from a roll of film. He said some people are so negative, if they walked into a dark room they would develop.
How could David, the writer of this Psalm be glad in the Lord with all his troubles? They came at him continually. And from every direction.
For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage. Psalm 40:12
I’m sure each of us can identify with him. Do you remember the old song that goes like this; “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve seen.” Maybe not, but we all have our own set of troubles, don’t we?
How in the world can we have the joy of the Lord and also be glad in Him? David gave us the answer in our verse for today.
When Seeking the Lord
He said when seeking the Lord we’ll be filled with joy and be glad. He didn’t say that gladness waits until we find him. No, it comes to those who search for Him. David searched for Him.
Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. Psalm 40:13
It didn’t matter how bad things got for David, he turned to the Lord. Because of his relationship with the Lord and his past experiences with Him, he maintained a glad heart.
Even though others treated him unfairly, he continually sought after God. He wasn’t happy when the others mistreated him. But he could remain glad in the Lord when seeking Him.
May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. Psalm 40:14
The Difference Between being Glad and having Joy in the Lord
Have you ever considered the difference between being glad in the Lord and having His joy? Let me begin with this illustration about joy.
I have crossed paths with some very negative people that others have referred to as joy suckers. I understand the concept of that comment, but I’m not sure how much I agree with it.
This is where we must identify the difference between joy and gladness. The source of our joy comes from the Holy Spirit or the presence of the Lord within us.
No one can suck the joy out of us. God generates it within us. Therefore because of His joy, we should influence the environment in which we find ourselves. Not the other way around.
Gladness on the other hand is a choice we make. The Lord allows us to choose, including whether to be glad or not. Even during some of our worst days, we can choose gladness over any other feeling.
If someone says, “don’t bother me, I’m in a bad mood.” That’s a decision they have made. Choosing a glad mood isn’t always easy, but in those times we must trust in the Lord.
So let’s get back to our scripture verse. What should you do if you’re having a bad day? You know, one of those days when nothing is going right and everyone seems to be against you?
Search and be Glad in the Lord
David gave us the answer, he said to search for God! Why? Because when searching for the Lord He will fill us with His joy and give us a glad heart.
We must look past our circumstances no matter how bad they look. Don’t even entertain saying something like “but Lord you don’t understand!” Instead, follow David’s instructions.
May those who love your salvation, repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!” Psalm 40:16
One more thought about David. As king, he had quite a dynasty. By his command, he could have had anything he wanted. But his humility stood forth when he went before the Lord.
As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay. Psalm 40:17
Remember, whether you respond or react to a situation, it all comes down to your choice. You can get mad at the world, which will affect your relationships including your loved ones.
Or, you can seek God in your times of need. Because just searching for the Lord brings His joy and will give you a glad heart.
Then your glad heart will reflect to those around you because of the joy of the Lord within you. Not only will you want to shout The Lord is great. But those around you may want to shout it also.
Lord, fill us with your joy and give us a glad heart as we seek you. We love your salvation and we give a loud shout, Lord you are great!
Check out these related posts about being glad in the Lord
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