'Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.'
I love this whole Psalm because it steps out clearly for us what we should do and how we should praise. In fact, this Psalm is known as a guide for giving grateful Praise. You would think that it should come naturally to us to live lives that are glad. You only have to think about what Jesus has done for us, and that should be enough. But let’s be honest, some days just seem harder to be glad than others.
Every day we have a choice as to how we are going to live our lives. We have a choice to be happy or sad. Please don't get me wrong, we live in a world that is hurting, and I'm very aware that there are significant events that take place in people’s lives that can cause a lot of grief, sorrow, and pain, and it's not a bad thing to grieve or feel pain, it would be weird if we didn't experience these feelings.
The good news though, is that Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundant (John 10:10) I'm so thankful for Jesus, and for the psalmist that has so beautifully written this Psalm as a reminder of how we should respond in the midst of everything that is going on around us, so we don't have to live in the same state of mind that the world is in.
God's plan for us is that we would live a full, happy, whole and blessed life, not to keep it to ourselves but so that we can be salt and light.
So how do we worship the Lord with gladness when we feel the weight of everything closing in around us? We think of everything that is good about God (which is everything) and we sing it out, we pray it out, we shout it out... even if you start mad, your mad will turn to glad, and songs of joy and victory will roll off your lips.
What makes this Psalm powerful, is that the psalmist writes transparently from their experience, and they share it with us so that we too can reap the benefits of Praise... Remember, praise always comes before the breakthrough.