When our congregation sang “Joy to the World” last Sunday. I gave it my all, holding nothing back, overflowing with joy.
At the end of the service, the guy sitting in front of me turned around and said, “Maybe you should sing in the choir.” He wasn’t frowning exactly, but he wasn’t smiling either.
I got the message. Too loud, too happy, and just too much from where he was sitting.
But from God’s point of view? He wants us to go all out when we worship Him, since He “inhabits the praises” (Psalm 22:3) of His people. Imagine it! When we sing His praises, He sits among us, “enthroned” (ESV) by the very notes and words that fill the air.
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. Isaiah 12:6
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,… Isaiah 12:6
The Lord isn’t kidding about this “shout” thing. In Hebrew, tsahal means “bellow.” He wants us to “rejoice” (AMP) and “celebrate” (CEV) and “raise the roof!” (MSG). Nothing mild and mellow. We’re talking “a loud shout!” (NIrV).
Praise isn’t merely for people who are naturally exuberant. He wants all who love Him to “shout joyfully” (AMPC), to happily and willingly “sing praise-songs to God” (MSG).
Worship that feels over-the-top to us sounds just right to Him.
Not a singer? Not a problem. In Hebrew, ranan means “to give a ringing cry.” We can do this. We can “make a joyful noise” (Psalm 98:4), knowing He is delighted with our voices, perfectly created for His pleasure.
If you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m not from Israel. I don’t live in Jerusalem. I’m not one of the ‘inhabitants of Zion’” (AMPC), this verse is still for you.
God’s people live everywhere. We can worship Him anywhere.
…for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. Isaiah 12:6
The Lord “is with you in his greatness!” (CJB). When we feel weak, powerless, and worn down to the ground, that’s when we need to praise Him most.
It’s easy to worship God when things are going well, right? He wants us to praise Him even more fervently when life is a mess, when singing with joy is the last thing we feel like doing. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
While we’re honoring Him with praise, He is honing us into His kind of people, able to withstand whatever life throws at us, certain our God can and will handle it.
Praise isn’t about feelings. It’s about obedience. It’s about trust. And it’s about Jesus, because He is the One who gives us the strength to shout for joy no matter what. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15).
The enemy loves to get us all wrapped up in our emotions and feelings. But God is worthy of our praise whatever our mood or situation.
Praising Him, singing with joy, shouting in triumph—that’s the surest path to genuine joy and real peace. In the midst of your worship you’ll realize He is with you “in a powerful way” (ERV), that prayers are being answered, that lives are being changed, that He is doing “great things before your eyes” (EXB).
The miracle of Christmas isn’t simply that God came to earth this very night, two thousand years ago. It’s that He came for us, bringing joy to the world!
Lord Jesus, we confess we don’t always feel like singing, let alone shouting with joy. Help us remember that worship isn’t optional for God’s people, and that praise isn’t about how we feel. It’s about who You are. Our Wonderful Counselor! Our Prince of Peace! Amen, amen. amen.
Three books you might consider for gift giving: The Women of Christmas, A Wreath of Snow, and my latest nonfiction, It’s Good to Be Queen.
Your grateful sister, Liz
Praise is every day
Thanking God for His goodness and being in awe of His wonder
Joy is Forever
I praise the Lord that you could finsh a bible study in praise after a painful knee surgery!
Joy is such a gift. It can be loud and exuberant or quiet and filled with wonder. It’s pervasive and doesn’t depend on circumstance or emotion. He is true gift and true JOY in all seasons of life. Celebrating the gift– love came and continues to come down into our world is truest gift and cause for joy.
He brings us joy. By His birth He shows us how to choose joy in all life’s circumstances. What a gift to celebrate His birth with unadulterated joy!
This joyful message was exactly what I needed today, thank you. It’s easy to praise God in happy times loud and long. Not so easy in hard times. But it’s not about easy. It’s about Jesus inhabiting our praises. Merry Christmas Liz. Praying your knee heals perfectly.
We should praise God no matter what is going on in our lives.
I continue to appreciate that what you are writing about feels so personal to me right now. We are in the midst of something quite scary and there is suffering involved. I have to be honest and say that for about five minutes, I was angry at God for giving my husband this cross to bear. I don’t remember ever being angry with God before. Oh, I know He can take it, He is too great a God to not be able to handle it. Throughout the last four days of my husband’s first cycle of chemotherapy, I have been grateful for the positive things. I pray that I will continue to see those things that I can offer praise and gratitude for.
I really needed these thoughts today! Been struggling, recently at church with the music- no hymns anymore! I will now praise Him no matter the music!
Praise is the overflow from a heart which understands the amazing gift God sent in by giving us Jesus! This is the only thing in life that deserves our highest and best praise
So thankful that we live in America where we can LOUDLY praise our God. On this Christmas Day, my greatest gift is my salvation through Jesus my Lord. I also LOUDLY give thanks that your surgery is over and you will enjoy the new knee in the NEW YEAR!
Prayers for a speedy and complete recovery Liz!
Your post was a second reminder during this season to praise God in ALL circumstances…
What especially jumped out to me in your post was the scripture from Isaiah…”…for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. Isaiah 12:6…The Lord “is with you in his greatness!” (CJB). When we feel weak, powerless, and worn down to the ground, that’s when we need to praise Him most.”
It is always powerful to hear the words from different translations – deeper revelation always comes!
When we are beaten down, that is the BEST time to praise…
Blessings on your recovery and remaining holiday time!
Prayers are with you for a speedy recover. I thank God for all my blessings especially for the freedom to worship and being able to still keep our church doors unlocked to visit during the daytime hours..We all have our difficult times and I pray that I can understand why..I ask myself is it because of sin I have committed. properly so I think.
Praying you recover successfully from your knee replacement surgery.
I think what I took away from this devotional is that our worship – or our sense of worship – should not be based on what we feel. It should be based on who God is. Joy isn’t just an all-day happiness. It’s a sense of contentment, of peace, of overwhelming gratitude and praise.
Thank you for the wonderful devotion about joy. One of my favorite
carols is Joy to the World because it expresses the meaning of the season so well. But,
expressing joy is a decision we each make and not just a feeling. How sad for folk who
do not recognize that we can choose to be joyful in all circumstances as Paul tells us in
Joy isn’t dependant on my circumstances. When my focus is on who Jesus is and all that He’s done for me, I am able to praise Him with a grateful heart. God inhabits the praise of His people. In His presence is fulness if joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
First of all I will be praying for those new knees and a quick recovery! Praise the Lord for New Knees!
And you are correct it is easy to praise Him when things are going well. There is so much to praise Him for every day, especially here in America where most wake up from sleeping in warm comfortable beds, eat great food, and drink clean water that we also use to bathe ourselves. Praying for those around the world who are just trying to survive and praising God that He hears and answers my prayers.
Love you, Lizzie, and am praising Him for You today and a New Year ahead of your faithful teaching of His Word!
The times I feel most like who I really am is when I am praising God.
In this post, God revealed that he wants our praise in ALL circumstances. Not just praise, but joyful praise! I love your writings on Scripture, Liz, thank you!
Once again, your message is perfect timing. I have to be JOYFUL for a God that knows just what I need when I need it and for His servant willing to share her gift and His words with us. I woke this Glorious Christmas Eve not feeling very joyful. I am not sure if it is physical, mental, spiritual or a combination of all three. Life and the turbulent world we live in is weighing heavy on my heart this day but today I will sing. I will praise and I will be joyful.
God Bless you Liz and many prayers as you heal. Funny, I have a hard time picturing you being still long enough to fully heal.
Merry Christmas to you and your family! ~ Retha
Great study. I’m finding myself choosing joy in the midst of struggle, and it often is the most accessible when I’m singing a song of praise or worship. Thanks Lizzie.
Prayers for a good recovery from your knee surgery.
This devotion touched me because I also am an exuberant person. God was able to use me last Sunday when my preacher’s wife asked me to perform a narrative lyrical dance to Mary Did You Know while she sang that song. I had been praying and thinking about wanting God to use me to help someone through movement since I have a background in dance!!!! I was so blessed in performing it and I pray that someone’s life was touched by the hand of God at the exact time when they needed some comfort and JOY!!!!!
JOY TO THE WORLD!!!MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
“Joy unspeakable and FULL of Glory!” From your words and HIS, I see intentional JOY because of WHO HE IS! HE is the life-giver, the JOY giver! “I will be filled with JOY because of HIM!” (Ps. 9:1-2) “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” Thank You, Liz, for all the encouragement. Be Good to You! Praying for you as you recover…………
Merry Christmas, Liz and prayers for your quick recovery. This study revealed to me that praise helps strengthen my relationship with God in times of all-is-well and gives me hope when uncertain times come to pass. Thanks for this message.
I believe that know matter how we feel we should still, and always praise God. Especially this time of year when our greatest Gift has been given to us, Jesus. I still have trouble with the not paying attention to my feelings part. Sometimes I still let them drag me down. But even then i kniw that God is with me. So sing liud, sing true, Praise the Lord, Amen! Merry Christmas to you all, and Lizz feel better my prayers are with you for a guick and great recoverry on your knee. Look what you did, you srtill went ahead with this study the night and the morning after sugery. For us. For thr Glory of God. Thank you
Dear sweet, incredible Liz, I will be praying for complete healing for those knees! Like, Robyn, I find myself making the choice of joy and it is indeed easier while singing, or humming, a worship song.
Our enemy has a way of making my mind jump to the WORST POSSIBLE outcome, and I have to wrestle it back to the promise that we were given that OUR GRACIOUS LORD AND SAVIOR that we will not be forsaken or forgotten!
Remembering to chose joy and that our reaction to circumstances is a C H O I C E is very helpful and is getting easier as it is practiced!
M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S !!!!!
This prompted me to find Ps 8:2 (cuz I hadn’t thought of it in awhile), “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise (strength) because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
If we will praise Him, His strength will move to defeat the enemy. Thank you, Liz, for the timely reminder. Hallelujah!
Sorry for the typing errors, lol
What a great reminder to praise all the time because it is about who He is. He is honing us into His kind of people. A phrase that I want to stick with me throughout the day. Thank you. Praying for your healing.
Oh how this spoke to me! Our God calls us to worship Him, to make a joyful noise! I get caught up in worry about how others will perceive me instead of focusing on the one who deserves all my praise. Father grant me the wisdom to freely worship you so that others can see you in me!
What struck me from the study this week is that praise is always the thing to do and is not dependent on feelings or circumstances.
“God is at work, even when we don’t see it!” In this last month, He taught me patience and how important it is to wait upon Him. I had a cancer scare and with all the prayer warriors out there and trusting HIM, everything is fine! He brought me through so many days of weeping and not knowing the outcome. And, I look back now and realize how strong the need is to trust Him every second, every minute of the day! Thank you, Jesus, for coming to Earth and saving us! Merry Christmas!
“He came for us, bringing Joy to the World”. Glory, Glory.
It’s hard to worship when relationships are strained, but I thank God for joy and I thank you, Liz, for reminding me that my joy and my worship do not depend on my circumstances, but on God’s abiding love.
My voice is not the greatest either and the best place for me to let out my praises in song is in my car just me and God! You definitely did your homework sharing from God’s word how we do need to sing a joyful song from our heart! Praying for healing and God’s comfort from your knee surgery. God Bless You and Merry Christmas!
Knee surgery is no fun, nor is the hurt while recovery, but
It must hurt to heal! Just like any of us, we must hurt to
Know of His healing. God Bless you and praise to God for
His many blessings.
You made me smile with your post today. You see, I once had someone turn around to me in church and say “you hurt my ears” after we sang as a congregation. I have carried this comment around for several years and find myself stifling my voice when I sing, afraid that I might be too loud. Well, no more!!!!! I am going to sing with joy because the Lord commands it 🙂
Blessings to you today Liz and I pray for healing for your knee. I have a new realization of Christ in my life this Christmas. When the pain and disappointment of this world clouds my vision, I tune in the picture of the manger and the Christ child born to save me. That will be my focus this Christmas.
First, good luck with your post-op physical therapy!
Second, I also always sing “with joy” when we sing those beautiful Christmas carols!! Don’t ever worry what you sound like to mere mortals because you always sound like a chorus of heavenly host to Him!!
Merry Christmas to you, Liz!
Bless you dear one……you’ve definitely had a December to remember…..or not
Praying for your healing and strength through it all.
Sing at the top of your lungs and let others move to a different place if they don’t like it….LOL
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!
Two things on my heart as I read this morning:
My “word for the year” has been PERSEVERANCE in 2015. Your comment about posting after coming home from total knee surgery blew me away. Talk about perseverance! I don’t think I could out two intelligible words together, let alone a sentence, if I were on pain meds! (And as a nurse, I know you need some powerful stuff following one of those major procedures!)
Second, the subject of joy in all circumstances keeps popping up here and there, reminding me how joy and perseverance dovetail with one another. We CAN do “all things through Him who gives (us) strength”!
Bless you for sharing what God lays on your heart, and may you have a speedy recovery with no complications!
I am definitely keeping you in prayer! I love to sing but I’ve never thought I have much of a voice. God gave me the voice I have so to him it must sound better than I think! If Paul can sing in captivity, surely we can sing in freedom, even if times are tough.
While I was reading, God revealed to me that I hadn’t been praising Him in my dark moments. I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety disorder 7 years ago. He also revealed that my mental and spiritual health go hand in hand. My husband was laid off unexpectedly six months ago. It caused a major stressor as far as my mental health, and my doctor had to change and increase some of my medications. I gave in and let the darkness overwhelm me for a while. I really had lost the will to fight it. God was and still is good. My husband got another job 4 weeks ago, and I am so thankful that God helped me when I couldn’t help myself. This has been an eye opening journey for me, and He has taught me so many things that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I can now say that I am thankful for this journey.
This is something I’m learning right now. Things are not good right now. In personal areas of my life. The enemy is screaming negativity about everything in my mind. But I Tear down those strong holds in the name of Jesus. I know my joy comes from the Lord. It’s not about what I think, or what I feel. It’s the price he paid for me to be free. It’s about worshiping him for who he is to me. He is everything to me. Everything I could ever want or need wrapped in the Love of my Savior.
Praying for you as you heal .
So thankful we can worship our God anywhere and anytime. Our worship is important to him whether we sing on key or not . Blessings to you and your family
Hey Liz, I agree wholeheartedly that our praise is to be vocal, with gusto!! And it is not based on our feelings or circumstances. It is based on Him!! The Lord is worthy to be praised no matter what. Thanks for the reminder to make a joyful noise to the Lord.
Sing hallelujah to God..joy to the world, the Lord is come…wise men and women seek him still..amen
Without Him I am undone, no words can express what I have experienced this holiday. It is not His birth , it’s more, it’s the
Price He paid for me that I may have life. His sacrIfices,
Leaving His heavenly home, becoming a literal baby, experiencing growing up. Every stage of our physical growth He experienced. Then puberty,gee, what was HE thinking. Then a young adult, heaven knows those struggles. Then a man, to take every Sickness, disease, broken bones,cancer of all sorts, and aBove all All our sins knowing the pain He would endure He said yes I will Father. I sit in awe of Him today and am humbled that He chose me to experience His new life and share His new life with Those He has entrusted to me. My heart is overwhelmed.
I recently quit my job after 15 years because every morning when I woke up, my first thought was, ” I hate my life. I want to die.” My soul was dying a little more every day.
While the decision may have seemed impulsive and stupid from a financial standpoint, I know it was the right thing to do spiritually.
This morning, even though my family’s financial situation depends on me finding a new job soon, my first thought when I opened my eyes was, “Thank you. I love you Father.” What a change!
Then to open my email and read this study confirmed that I need to praise God in all circumstances and in praising him we find joy.
Merry Christmas Liz! I pray you have a wonderful family time and speedy healing for your knee!
This is very timely for me. I have always loved singing worship, especially when everything is going well, as you said. However God has been showing me for about 2 years now that I am to praise Him in all ways. In everything I do. And especially when life is tough. I have so much more peace now and my family seems to be coming along as well! You know the saying “when mama is happy…. Well it is up to mama to set the mood for the home and mine has been much more peaceful! Glory to God!
I’m not a good singer. As I’ve got older my voice has become even worse. I often joke that whoever sits in front of us at church will find new seats the next week.
But the Bible tells us to ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord’. No one else may appreciate my singing, but I’m not singing for others. I’m giving my praises only to my Lord God. He knows how much I love Him.
I love that God inhabits the praises that we offer. It brings Him that much closer. I needed this today, Liz. Thanks for sharing. As for your knee, I had the same surgery 3 years ago. My advice: Take your pain pills as prescribed and do your physical therapy more than you’re prescribed. In my case, it was painful, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I had an excellent result, and you will, too. You’ll be surprised at how much pain that knee was causing throughout your body. Praying for you, as always…
Praying for a speedy recovery!
This study has reminded me(type A)
That to worship God doesn’t need to be perfect or well executed. It needs to come from a heart filled with love and awe for God,who He is, what He has done for us! He lovesMe, Hallelujah! How can it be? I don’t know, can’t explain it, but it’s TRUE!
An incident at church really drove this home. Teenagers were sitting behind me in church one Christmas service. Usual hubbub going on with them. Then on the second carol strange sounds and noises began from somewhere behind me. So I turned (former senior high leader) to give them the beady eye! Not my teenagers, but a row behind them was a young person with I believe a type of Down’s syndrome “singing with all his heart”. I immediately burst into tears in recognition of his pure love and joy for our God and Saviour! It was such a blessing for me to behold this. God definitely bows how to reign in these type A personalities! A lesson I will never forget
Merry Christmas to all, a Son has been given!
I have learned that in ALL things the way to endure the bad and truly enjoy the good, worshiping God is the only way to truly feel the joy that God wants us to experience.
God bless you with peace and patience as you heal.
My take on this message is that He wants my praise even when I am so discouraged.
I love the reminder of shouting to the Lord with joy. I use to sing in the choir but health issues have damaged by vocal chords and I am self conscious. God hears me with different ears than the rest of the world and my praise is to Him not them!!
We have been through a very difficult year of change in our family. But we made the choice early in the process that our praise would not be affected. I was recently told by someone who didn’t know all the circumstances but knew that we were going through something, that she watched us and was amazed that we never seemed to waiver – that we continued on in worship and in our faith as though nothing was happening. That wasn’t being fake, that was praising in faith, knowing that ultimately God would work ALL things out for our good. He is faithful!
I will sing praises to him, with joy, knowing he will inhabit those praises!!!!
Praying you have a Merry Christmas, Liz! Love you!
Oh oh oh!!! Prayers and Speedy healing to your knee.
I laughed outloud reading the man’s comment about the choir (in a crowded airport gate).
I’m thankful the baby Jesus
came with joy. It IS indeed hard to rejoice in trials. But I think of a small church I attended and seeing desparate people approach the altar with arms lifted. This picture just speaks to me about putting my focus on Him and all that He is
That even when I’m feeling inadequate that the Lord loves me and I am worthy in His eyes.
I appreciated the reminder that we can praise Him in spite of our circumstances. The praise is because of who He is , not because of the situations of our lives. He is always worthy of being praised!!
Merry Christmas Liz! Thanks for the reminder to be joyful, always. May your day be blessed with family and healing! Both of my knees are bionic, so I know exactly what you are going through. You have my prayers for healing and comfort.
Bless you for the study. We shout for joy and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. O! Please sing out for joy in everything. I love it when people put their whole hearts into a song, so don’t be bothered by it.
At this time of year I have great expectations for the future even though there is so much darkness. The Light came to us so long ago, but it is shining now in our hearts. My prayer for our brothers and sisters around the world is that love, joy, peace and HOPE will prevail.
Bless you, Liz, and may your knee heal quickly. Merry Christmas!
My children always give me such embarrassed looks at church just when I am most enjoying singing to God with all my heart! I think I’ll share this with them!
Song like Peace Like a River and Be Still My Soul were sung in my spirit when my son died. How great is our God as He is the great comforter.
I make a joyful at church as well. My heart was touched by this devotional. Especially the part where you stated that the Lord is with you in His Greatness because I had to put my husband in a nursing home the day before Thanksgiving, I am thankful it is a Christian home, but through all of this I am realising more then ever just how much the Lord is truly with me and He is great, I am trying to keep on praising Him through this time and I am having one of the best Christmases I have had in a long time. I will keep you in my prayers post knee surgery. Merry Christmas!
“Praise isn’t about feelings. It’s about obedience. It’s about trust.” Beautifully spoken… THANK YOU! It’s ALL about Him.
Merry Christmas! Many blessings to you in the year ahead. 🙂
Dear Liz, my prayers for you are for a speedy and comfortable recovery! Bless you for your dedication to share the Word with us! Your post reminds me that John Wesley admonished us to sing “with gusto!” Merry and bright Christmas wishes to you and yours!
Joy in worship should be present even when the music isn’t the style I prefer. Lord help me worship with joy under every circumstance!
This is a different Christmas for us – we will be moving to another state in January so we’ve been busy going through things, deciding what we ‘need’ to keep and giving, selling, throwing away what we don’t. We are staying in a friends cabin this week (in the area we’ll be moving). It’s much like camping except we have indoor heat and plumbing! We’re enjoying visiting friends/family – which, in the midst of joy, has its own set of challenges. We’re seeking God’s wisdom in His responses to tense situations and hurtful comments and choosing JOY!
I just wrote about this very thing, Liz! Our joy is dependent on Christ. In Him, there is always joy.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, dear friend!
Being a woman blessed beyond measure, I was focused too much this morning on doing tasks all alone, even though able-bodied adults were at home with me. But your words of giving praise with a joyful heart changed my attitude and put my heart focused on Jesus and what He’s done for me. I have a new song in my heart, as I work.
I pray for you to have a smooth healing!
God ‘inhabits the praises of His people’…..the Word doesn’t say only those with beautiful voices should praise Him but ALL His children…….in good times, in bad times, ‘sing and make music in your heart to The Lord.’ Thanks for this devotional, it truly blessed my heart. I will be praying for your recovery…..my husband had both his knees done a year apart this past spring and it is not fun. Doing the excercises is the key, even when it hurts!
I absolutely LOVE making a joyful noise and encourage those around me to do the same. I am so grateful for a church that supports us in making all the joyful noise we can. Sharing joy with others is so much a part of me. I am so happy God likes me to do so!
Such a timely message this eve of our Saviors birth. Will be leaving soon to pick up church member at nursing home for Christmas Eve service. Not a very cheerful place and we are an aging and declining congregation. Thank you for the reminder of how important our voices are to God. I will be lifting my voice a little higher tonight.
Thanks for your commitment to post another bible study even after your knee surgery, although I hope you know that your beloved readers and viewers would have understood if you sent a post about your surgery. We could have all been praying for you and for your medical staff while you were in surgery. I trust that all is well and you are on your way back to the dance hall in no time! : – ))
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for already knitting Liz in her mother’s womb. By this we know that you already know how to do what you’re doing in our lives. I ask your blessing on Liz’s healing, and have faith that you will continue to knit her knee and everything around it back together again. You’re an awesome God! I thank you in advance for Liz’s healing and I pray this with gratitude in the Holy and powerful name of Jesus. Amen!
And Liz … one more thing … can you hear me singing loudly and cheerfully to God when I sing with all my heart Handel’s Messiah?
Merry Christmas Liz! Blessings on your 2016 year ahead!
I’m praying for you, Liz. 5 yrs ago I had a double knee replacement! Do your PT & it’ll be perfect! I have NO pain EVER, after 15+ yrs of suffering. God can knit it together beautifully.
Also, I appreciate your teaching. In Him, Sandy
I have heard that God inhabits our praise but this study made that much clearer. When we go to the Christmas Eve service tonite I will be picturing Jesus sitting among us, inhabiting our praises and I will sing my heart out for Him. It is about being obedient and praising Him always and in everything, I see that more now.
Merry Christmas, dear Liz!
I find that when I’m having a really hard time in my life, the more I praise God, the more my heart fills with JOY! I feel my sadness being replaced with His Joy! PTL! I am praying for your recovery. Thank you for posting today admidst your pain.
I took a wild and joyful risk inviting a friend to attend Christmas Eve service with me and even though, he declined, I could tell how it pleased him to have been invited. Both of us ended the conversation with smiles and the day was suddenly brighter!
I’m reading this waiting for a coffee to bring my daughter before she spends this Christmas Eve as a NICU nurse…this few minutes of waiting has caused me to reflect that I need to choose Joy in these small moments of time in thankfulness of God’s gift of salvation thru His Son.
I’m reading this waiting for a coffee to bring my daughter before she spends this Christmas Eve as a NICU nurse…this few minutes of waiting has caused me to reflect that I need to choose Joy in these small moments of time in thankfulness of God’s gift of salvation thru His Son.
Even in the midst of struggles and dealing with my husband’s illness and hospitalization, I have to have joy to celebrate my husband’s life and support, the joy of having good medical facilities and medical staff and the joy of friends and family providing comfort and love taking time to be with me on this Christmas Eve. How joyful knowing whatever God’s plan, we will have a joyful eternal life with him.
As I sit here in the hospital starring at our 5 month old baby, I realized, praising God hasn’t been high on my priority list. I must confess, my prayers have been begging God for healing, not praising Him for this trial. I appreciate the gentle words of encouragement to praise God in all circumstances, especially when the road is rough.
What I am in awe of is that Jesus is our Peace! Our joy! Our love!
Praying your healing is uneventful and speedy! Blessed Christmas to you and your family!
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your heart and encourage us all with your incite into God’s truth.
It is good to be reminded that the Jesus’ birth is His love gift to mankind that changes everything for those who choose to believe on His name! Rejoice! Immanuel, God with us!
Have a blessed Christmas Day with your family!
I’ve been “joy challenged” for a bit of time now and when I see your devotional/study come through it always makes me smile! Plus even the title “Joyful Noise” really does give me some real joy in my soul. I loved this study! I love learning about the Hebrew words and “tsahal” makes me want to do some shouting and singing!
Thanks so much for sharing your joyful wisdom!
I am praying for your complete healing of your new knee! Praise God for all the new technology in health and wonderful doctors!
I will be praying for your family as well. You’ve all been through a lot lately.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
I think that I do not sing very well but I joined our praise team in spite of that. However, in the past I have found myself singing rather quietly so the congregation did not hear me too well. After reading this today I will change my “tune” and sing loudly to be confident that the Lord can surely hear me.
Lifting you up in prayer for your TKR. I used to be an orthopedic nurse, (now retired) I know what you are going through but you did a wonderful job working on your blog today.
A healthy and very blessed Christmas to you and your family.
Merry Christmas and Joy to the world for a savior is born!
I read Hebrews 13:5 in my devotions this week. One word in this verse stood out to me and has challenged me all week…”continually.” i am to praise and thank God on an on-going basis. He doesn’t change. He is always good, always faithful, always gracious, always loving, and always worthy to be praised! Thank you, Liz, for these encouraging words!
This study really goes well with the message tonight at candlelight service where the pastor spoke about how we have the Light of God within us. He used a lamp to help illustrate his point about how darkness can’t shut out the light but sometimes we can put a shade over our light and not let it fully shine in our lives. I believe one way we can really let the light of God shine in our lives is through worship! Worship is more than just singing the songs at church, worship is a condition of our hearts and souls. It’s about taking our eyes off of ourselves and lifting them up to God, it’s about surrendering all to Him and letting Him change us.
Prayers for your recovery. And thank you again for a timely word.
“Praise isn’t about feelings. It’s about obedience. It’s about trust. And it’s about Jesus, because He is the One who gives us the strength to shout for joy no matter what. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15).
The enemy loves to get us all wrapped up in our emotions and feelings. But God is worthy of our praise whatever our mood or situation.”
I never thought of praise as obedience. Or of how the enemy uses circumstances and feelings to steal praise from God. I always associated praise with feeling good.
Oh, Lizzie, how I would love to have been where that man sat! I love to hear God’s people make a joyful noise unto the Lord! At this time of year, how can we not respond with rejoicing? Thank you for your faithful messages of joy. Merry Christmas!
Thanks for this message. One time the worship leader at our church reprimanded the congregation because some of us were not singing and I took offense thinking he did not know what was going on in each person’s life, but this devotion helped me understand his point. Thank you.
Merry Christmas!! Praying the Lord will bring healing and comfort during your recovery. Praising the Lord brings joy no matter the circumstances. For me it casts light on my Lord and dims what is going on around me. My focus is on Him. I love that He inhabits our praise. I am definitely going to crave more of His presence by giving Praise to Him instead of grumbling. Rest and take care of yourself. You will be on my heart♡
I know what you mean Liz by bellowing it out to the point of being almost uncontrollable. At our Christmas Eve Service we had the honor of guest singer Abby Paskvan. She. knew how to get the crowd singing to rhe Lord. She started out asking us to sing along wirh her secluar Christmas songs.Then. she sung her Christmas songs. Finally she sang medleys asking us again to join in. With our voices loud and high waving our glow sticks….she brought the house down. It was amazing!!!
Liz! Praying for a quick recovery for you. I was just staying with my Mother-in-law the beginning of the month after her knee replacement. And knowing after my mom’s a few years ago just a reminder….be diligent in your therapy and DAILY exercises! It makes all the difference! Christmas blessings to you and your family! How nice you have recovery time to spend in this beautiful season!
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
I have forgotten this during this season. We have spent Dec. in doctor’s offices and hospitals. It has been very stressful but as I reflected on this month this morning, I realized God’s hand on us all through it; not only healing hearts but teaching and strengthening us. God is so good!
God bless you with a speedy recovery. Thank you for taking the time to finish this while recovering. I take from this that I need to praise Him in all things no matter how I feel because it’s not about me, it’s about Him. He alone is worthy of all my praise. God bless and Merry Christmas.
I know I’m replying to my own comment, but I remembered something that brought me so much joy that I just had to share it. My dad is 82 yrs. old and came to know the Lord only about 10 years ago. The first time I heard him sing in church it was all I could do not to break down in tears. Can he sing well? No. But that’s not the point. He was making a joyful noise to the Lord and that’s what God wants to hear from us. It still brings me to “leaking for the Lord” whenever I think about my dad and his faith journey.
Praise. Yes I try to do that in everything, all situations. It is hard sometimes, but I remember that God is God. He can give me the praises as I remember who he is.
I sing out as i can. Several years ago I started raising my head to sort of sing to the ceiling. My voice was “raised”! I feel like I am singing over the heads of those in front of me. Knowing my voice is not great allows me to give others with lousy voices some grace. Our voices are what God gave to us for his joy and pleasure. I care more what God thinks of my worship than I do what others think.
Sometimes I get so busy preparing for Christmas , that I almost miss it . I am so thankful for church and Bible study that starts out with praise music , reminding me to stop and take time to sing praise to God. There is no gift greater than feeling God’s prescense.
Thankful for a quiet Christmas evening, all the rushing is over and time to savor the true meaning of God’s gift to me.
Merry Christmas! Praying for your speedy recovery!! Today’s lesson about praised resonated with me. I’m a naturally exuberant person, so outwardly praise comes natural for me. I’m learning to show the same exuberant type of praise during all seasons of my life. Thanks for the reminder!
Dear Lizzie, 🙂
I am a new fan, enjoying reading aloud, “The Women of Christmas”, to my sweet mama. I am enjoying learning new dimensions to Bible characters I long ago assigned to the I-know-THAT-story-well- pile. Obviously, the Holy Spirit continues to reveal God’s Word as long as one will read it!!
I am SO very thankful for eternity with my Creator, Savior and King through Jesus my Lord, but celebrating Christmas isn’t really a joy. Losses of Christmases-past have too-long taken real estate in my heart. I’ve never started new traditions. All that said, I returned from a nice day with family, glad it’s over, to see your blog in my email. “Joyful Noise”. The word, ‘joyful’, was the draw.
Thank you for writing this piece. I, again, learned or was reminded of 2 particularly good points and want to tell you which ones they are:
1) “Not a singer? Not a problem. In Hebrew, ranan means “to give a ringing cry.” We can do this. We can “make a joyful noise” (Psalm 98:4), knowing He is delighted with our voices, perfectly created for His pleasure. ”
-“…perfectly created for His pleasure.” I never thought that about my voice before. The point is very solid. I LOVE singing to and about the LORD, but am surrounded by husband and family that don’t. Bleh. Think I’ll go off to the bedroom closet with my hymn book and raise a ruckus to the LORD! 🙂
2) “Praise isn’t about feelings. It’s about obedience. It’s about trust. And it’s about Jesus, because He is the One who gives us the strength to shout for joy no matter what. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15).”
-Everything stated after what praise ISN’T. Wow. Obedience. Trust. About our gift of being vocal – or not. Obedience, certainly. Praise is about giving! I need to further mull the idea of ‘trust’, believing an epiphany is just around the corner for the taking!
Thank you for writing, Liz, and sharing so generously the food God has given to you. Thank you for allowing comments ABOUT your writing. I’m glad to be able to process as well as share with you.
Prayers going up for your quick and complete healing. God is the great physician and He is awesome! I have a saying that I share around the bus garage, “there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for” and then I will share several things about how God protects, provides , etc. we need to share our joy with those around us and share the joy of the Lord. Philippians 4:4
Oh Lizzie. This so spoke to my heart and reminded me that sometimes our praise is the sacrifice. “When we can’t see His hand, when we don’t understand, trust His heart.”
Thank you for reminding us that joy is not an option for God’s people. Prayers for your quick recovery!
I have been struggling with expressing joy this season. I need to remember my joy is only found in Christ not in any other person. May our praise always be sweet before Him.
Gentle hugs to you as you recover from knee surgery. Will be praying. What spoke most to me: Praise isn’t about feelings. It’s about obedience.
It’s about trust. Thank you for the timely reminder.
When you have the joy of God in your heart its hard not to “sing it out”. If everyone was in the choir there would be no one in the pews.
You cannot but help be joyful as this season shouts to the ceilings for “joy”. I have enjoyed all of your posts this pas year & look forward to many more in 2016.
My husband had a total knee replacement on November 2nd….when I show him your post about writing the next day he will not believe it! Maybe the physical therapist was correct….he said, “men are babies….our women patients are the strongest….without fail”!!
Praising and worshiping Him isn’t about feeling, it’s about trust and obedience. I so need to learn this as I walk through a dark period in my life right now. What did I learn?? That no matter what my circumstances are I can still trust Jesus to never leave me or forsake me. That’s why I can “bellow” my praise!! Happy healing my friend Liz!!!
Prayers for a smooth recovery! Praising God even when I don’t “feel like it” is what struck a chord in me.
Thanks Liz for your inspiring thoughts. I wasn’t feeling the least bit like praise post Christmas and you showed me that feelings didn’t enter into it.
By the way, please don’t kneel to pray for a while – well at least until your knee is fully healed.
Blessings, love and my prayers.
So sorry about your brother….and your knee. I lost my dear, sweet mom the week before Thanksgiving. I am learning all too well that prayer, let alone, praise, is not about feelings. Your study was *just* what I needed, but Father God knew that. It’s always about obedience, isn’t it?
Thank you for this study…and all you do.
What a timely message! We celebrated Christmas on sat with family. The grandkids range in age from 8 to 18. There was lots of joyful noise( shouting -singing -dancing-raising the roof)! I just watched the video clips I took and laughed all over again. They even got Grandpa to join in!
Liz.,I pray that your knee heals perfectly! I have a friend and sister-in-law who had knee replacements this past year and are doing great.
I have to tell you , I was watching a Christmas concert last week and there was a violin special . Two of them appeared to be competing with very lively parts. I immediately thought of Davinia and Somerled as I read their story recently! Shiela
I love that God reminds us of things we’ve known but need reminders of. I am a very “emotional” person and had to learn long ago that joy doesn’t depend on my emotions; it is not dependent on my feelings. We spent Christmas Eve dealing with a flooded basement and I needed to read this today to be reminded.
God is good and I want to praise Him every opportunity I get!
Thanks for your timely words Liz. Hope you have a speedy recovery from your knee surgery.
This statement really spoke to me. “Praise isn’t about feelings. It’s about obedience. It’s about trust.” I’ve always thought of praise as feelings not obedience & trust. I’ll work on this. Praying for complete healing for you! Thank you for this great give away!!
Your words that God came FOR US not to us have so much more meaning. I am always amazed how you can take ONE word and describe it so completely. A bible study group at our church is starting one of your bible studies in January. Can’t wait!!
May you heal quickly, with both knees working perfectly! Our praise is not driven by what we feel or the “perfectness” of our circumstances. Our praise is the outcome of knowing Him in His greatness and lovingkindness and generosity. Blessings to every reader, as together before the Lord, we abound with thanksgiving in the new year.
we do not have to be happy (please with everything going on in our lives) in order to have joy. God wants us to have joy in all things, at all times. We are to worship Him, 24/7, with our lives….Amen!
I will praise God joyfully especially when I don’t feel like it; it’s not out of obligation but out of obedience to God’s character and love for me. Thank you, Liz! Praying God’s healing touch on you as you recover from surgery!?
Gods reminded me that he puts people in our lives at just the right time and place when we are going through life’s struggles! So when you sing songs of praise, sing with your whole “heart” and the overflow will come out of your mouth as well!
Joy! Learning joy filled contentment irregardless of circumstance because Emmanuel…God is always with me:)
I was reminded that praise to our Mighty Wonderful Awesome Loving Indescribable God is not an option! He is Worthy!
just like we sang as kids, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart…where? down in my heart! where? down in my heart!
Praying your recovery is quick and joyful!
As a Christian, praise and worship should be a constant part of our daily lives. No matter the situation we should always give thanks. We should never feel we are unable to accomplish any task put before us because God is always there and will equip us with whatever we need.
Oh, how I needed to read this post. I too get easily off track and do not follow through with continuously praising God in everything. I truly appreciate the reminding that you provide with the scriptures, pictures, and words that you write. It’s the reminding that I need.
In the study “Slightly Bad Girls” God showed me what a woman of God Leah was , Rachel was the one I thought the story was about but going through this study I learned that Leah looked to God for comfort we named my first born daughter aftter my beloved Grandmother Leah but always thought why did I do that because of the story in the bible but now I am so happy that I discovered that Leah is the one that was more beautiful than her younger sister! Thank you Liz!
Thank you Liz for sharing your gifts of writing. I LOVE to sing! It’s an important part of my worship. Sometimes it is difficult to sing but we need to sing anyway. Praising God!!
I’m thinking if you and praying for you as you recover from your knee replacement surgery. God bless your Liz!
p.s. Ladies Bible class at our church will be using your book “It’s good to be Queen” for our study this coming session.
I got home from cardiac procedure that told me I have no plaque in my arteries on New Year’s Eve. I’m a 65 yrs young female who is celebrating clear arteries. But I still have to find out why the chest pain.
But I rejoice with you that you are able to get back on your feet with all the determination and faith in God you have I’m sure you will. Congratulations! Praise God in a loud voice and believe. Physical therapy is great stuff these days.
Praise is powerful stuff too. I use it a lot to get myself going again.
Happy New Year! New Knee & All!
In Christ, I am. Chris
Oh goodness Liz! I love it that I’m not the only one who might go ‘over the top’ with worshiping the Lord! He is worth of our praise! How reserved we have become in our nation… concerning praise that is. Our writer’s group called Pens of Praise Christian Writers is reading your novel “A Wreath of Snow” we will meet the 21’st of this month to discuss this wonderful read! Yes, I’ve read it before and want to make it a yearly tradition, because I love it so! 🙂 Blessings!
A couple of years ago I had knee replacement surgery-surgery went great, but I came home from the hospital on a Tuesday and on Wednesday morning I went into A-fib. Back to the hospital 7 days intensive care-I felt sorry for my self-pain-sick and discouraged. But I came home to a wonderful husband and a great Christian physical therapist. I found a book-actually I had sent the book to my Mother. Mother is in heaven. The book is “Help I’m laughing and I can’t get up.” by Mis Liz. I really learned that a Merry heart is good medicine. Went from bed bound to walking without a walker or cane in 6 weeks. Thank you LORD and Savior . Thank you for writing the book. Looking forward to seeing you in Warner Robins, Ga. Earlene