Expressions of Joy

Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32:10-11)

Generally speaking, men have a variety of hand gestures signifying excitement or a sense of accomplish or welcome – handshakes, high five’s, knuckle bumps and fist pumps.

The Psalmist contrasts emotional expressions between the wicked and righteous, v.10. The wicked’s life is filled with many sorrows and full of painful feeling. Those confident about life because it resides in the Lord are surrounded by His steadfast love. God’s love is on every side of his life. Because of God’s surrounding goodness, verse 11 exhorts “be glad!” There are three words that relate to what it feels to experience God’s love – gladness, rejoice, and shouting. The root meaning for each give us wonderful pictures of gestures of excitement.

1. “GLAD” – gladness is a facial expression. It is a brightened well-lite face, a facial glow of being joyful. Gladness is seen in everyone abiding “in the Lord.”

2. “REJOICE” – to rejoice is an outward action of “spinning.” Being in the Lord is cause for twirling around and around with joy.

3. “SHOUTING” – joy is audible. The sound is distinct from the pain of sorrow. Joy is triumphant, “the fist pump” in staccato “Yes! God brings all things to life for our joy.

Joy in the Lord is most obviously an expression of those who have a right relationship with the Lord and whose hearts are right. As child of God these should characterize you. Do they?

“Make a joyful sound unto the Lord all ye lands.”

—E .C. Malone


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