Is Worship Our Delight?
It seems we fall on one end of the spectrum or another – we are very neat and orderly and careful to uphold God’s holiness or we are focused on our experience and heart’s intent in worship. It doesn’t need to be this way and shouldn’t!
Throughout Scripture, we see God’s people enjoying His presence and character with joy and gladness:
“Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:2
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heave, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:12
We can see that this joy and gladness is not separated from struggle, however.
We also identify much of Scripture that gives us a reason to even worship with song and joy; God’s character and His mighty acts throughout history:
“Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” Psalm 150
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28
In pairing these two biblical ideas, is worship our delight? Do the characteristics and mighty deeds of God cause our heart to sing with thanksgiving? The persecuted church would boldly proclaim, “YES!”
Those facing persecution around the world, especially those living in countries featured on the World Watch List, face this question daily. Worship is not convenient for them. It is not done in freedom. Will they show that worship is their delight with their lives and even deaths?
Persecuted Christians around the world know that witnessing the truth of Jesus Christ is the one delight that will never fail them. Although trials come, they hold on to their true joy – worshipping the one true God.
This does not come without tremendous heartache and sorrows, though. While family and communities may shun them, clinging to Jesus can prove to lead down a dark path. Even Christ, in his prayer on the Mount of Olives, prayed in anguish, “and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) Jesus faced pressure unimaginable as He prepared to take on the sins of the world.
Those facing persecution share in His joy but also His anguish. Will you remember to pray for Christians facing persecution today? Although they share in the great joy and honor bearing God’s Name, it is hard and challenging. These believers need to know were #OneWithThem.