One of the many things we missed during the COVID-19 outbreak was the joy of singing together. But prior to the pandemic, about one in every six Americans sang in a choir! One study listed numerous benefits of singing in groups, including “better mental and physical health, a sense of belonging and feeling connected to others, better social skills, increased civic engagement and volunteering, developing leadership skills and much more.”
For believers, singing— whether by individuals, choirs, or congregations—has long been an essential part of worship. This is a major focus of Psalm 100, which urges us: “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (v. 2). We have good reason to worship. Our identity as sheep and our relationship to the Shepherd inspires us to worship: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth” (v. 1). Some of us know that first phrase better in other translations, which read, “Make a joyful noise.”
When we’re with the Good Shepherd and part of His flock, our weaknesses are replaced with His strengths. We know that we are safe and glad in God’s presence. “It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (v. 3). God is worthy to be worshiped, and it is fitting and right that we do so. He “is good and his love endures forever” (v. 5).
Another reason to praise is because the Lord created us. He chose us and made us His own. He didn’t make us then send us out to fend for ourselves. He made it possible for us to have a personal relationship with Him. And so we have good reason to rejoice, to “[e]nter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (v. 4).
>> Sing a joyful song to God today! Whether you sing in a group or alone, God delights in hearing the worship and praise of His people. Celebrate that we have been given such a Good Shepherd!
Father, we joyfully worship You, for “Only Thou art holy / There is none beside Thee / Perfect in power, in love and purity” (“Holy, Holy, Holy”). Praise the name of the Living God!