Jan. 8, 2021, Psalm 33:6-22
Please read these verses from Psalm 33, one of the most powerful and important descriptions of God as creator and our role in serving this awesome God.
For many years I dreaded January. Christmas was such a festive celebration, both spiritually and relationally, literally “Joy to the World” was lived out among our family and our church. We sometimes wonder why Christmas could not last all year long.
But then the new year arrived. January can be such a depressing month. We often experience the coldest temperatures of the year during January, the amount of daylight is the least of the entire year. We might even be dismayed when we open our credit card statements at the amount of money we spent at Christmas. It seemed like it was a herculean task to just keep up our spirits during this time.
But then one day a friend of mine said to me, “I just love January. I just love the fact that it is a new year, a new opportunity to start afresh, to make new goals and resolutions. I just love deciding that the previous year was now in my rearview mirror and I am going to eagerly await what God has in store for me in the new year.” (By the way, after 2020, this kind of attitude is more vital than ever.)
When we ponder where we are as a nation, as the people of God, as a church, there is a verse in Psalm 33 that should be front and center in our deliberations. The Psalmist writes, “What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord.” Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord. We might expand that, “What joy is the church whose God is the Lord. Happy is each person whose God is the Lord.
And so, in these words I am challenged to equate two things that I never thought went together, namely January and being happy. Happiness and joy are not because every day will be bright and sunny, it is not because the world or the church or our own lives are perfect, but it is because, as the Psalmist writes, our hope is in the steadfast love of God, which delivers our soul from death. In addition, he writes, “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
So, if you have a heavy heart this January, if the north winds are blowing arctic gusts into your lives, remember that this is a new year, a new opportunity to start over again. It is a call to be “happy as one whose God is the Lord.” As verse 22 concludes by saying when our lives are filled with hope, then we trust that God’s “unfailing love surrounds us.” And that brings happiness, joy, and enthusiasm for the days and months to come.
Questions for reflection:
- How do you approach January, a new year?
- What gives you the most joy in your life?
- For a church which is named Hope, how do we live our lives in hope?