Fear and anxiety are rampant in our world. It is easy to understand why. The pandemic reminded us of the fragile nature of our lives, jobs, and the economy. While there are days when life feels precarious, today’s psalm describes how God’s people remained secure and joyful in a world just as uncertain as our own.
If you stand on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem today and look around, you will notice that the city is surrounded by hills. The Psalmist sees this geographical feature and draws a spiritual lesson, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people” (125:2). Those who trust in the Lord have placed their trust in a secure source. As believers today, sometimes we need to be reminded that God cares about us and desires our good. In John 17, Jesus prayed for His disciples, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name” (v. 11). In a world riddled by fear, we can be confident in our relationship with God. We can pray with expectation for peace (Ps. 125:5).
Because of their idolatry and sin, Israel had been exiled to Babylon. This must have seemed like the end to many who were forcefully relocated thousands of miles from their homeland. But God was not through with Israel. After 70 long years, Cyrus issued a decree to allow the people of Israel to return home. Psalm 126 expresses the wonder and joy experienced at this answer to prayer, “Our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues with songs of joy” (v. 2). Joy should be a mark of God’s people.
>> Even when things look uncertain in our lives, we should remember that our deepest needs have already been met on the cross. Laughter and joy are hallmarks of those who have experienced God’s grace. Spend a few minutes today thanking God for all He has done for you and let Him fill you with joy.
We thank You for times of plenty and prosperity, when joy comes naturally. We thank You for difficult times, when the weight of life pushes us closer to You. Whatever our circumstances, we can rejoice in Your unchanging faithfulness.