Monday, December 05, 2016

Gladness of All Time

I have been reading and listening to a bible study on gladness.

The word "gladden" in Hebrew is the word "samach."

It means to rejoice, be glad.

There are several verses in the bible that speaks of some version of the word glad.

Sometimes it's mentioned along with the word heart.

"Therefore my heart is glad…" 
(Psalm 16:9 & Acts 2:26)

"… to gladden the heart of man" 
(Psalm 104:14-15)

Other times it stands on its own.

"For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;  I sing for joy at the works of your hands."
 (Psalm 92:4)

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
(Psalm 118:24)

The phrase we think of at Christmas the most, "glad tidings," means to "tell good news" or "preach the gospel."

We sing about it in "Angels We Have Heard on High" 
and "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

The word "tidings" means news.

It needs the word "glad" to make it good news.

We sing of tidings of comfort and joy in "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen."

I know I've sang that song a million times but it struck me hearing the lyrics of comfort and joy.

It really was news at that time.

And still is today.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came,
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay,
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace,
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

What a gift. The gift of gladness. The gift of comfort. The gift of joy.
This gift can be given to us in the midst of mourning.
This gift can be given to us in the midst of discouragement.

Believe me, I know what it's like to be "struck" 
with the funny of something in the most inopportune times.

This study of gladness revealed that sometimes it's that gladness in the midst of sadness or madness that is not only our push to help us through, but encouragement to someone else who is watching.
Beth Moore put it like this:
"There may be no greater, more visible and conspicuous gift we believers have to give in this world full of sadness 
than the hope of our gladness."

It's that gift that helps us laugh at a memory while we grieve.
It's that gift that keeps us smiling instead of sinking into bitterness or despair over our circumstances.

But it's a gift we have to unwrap.

Haven't we all seen or felt ourselves, 

the pushing away of the gift of gladness in the midst of sorrow 

because, 
well, 
it felt out of place?

Inappropriate 
or disrespectful
almost?

Leave it to the world to make gladness and joy a negative.

That Hebrew word "samach" that means gladden is also the same origin for the word "gloat."
Gloat is just an arrogant version of gladness.
It's used in Micah 7:8-10:
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be my light.
He will bring me out into the light;
I will see his righteousness.
Then my enemy will see it
and will be covered with shame."

But God never intended our enemy to gloat over us.
To be so glad that we are not enjoying our gift of gladness that we give the devil the last word.
The gloat.

And nothing makes the devil smirk more 
than when we bypass the gift of gladness 
in our sadness.
God meant for us to gloat over our enemy.

It we don't choose gladness, the devil will. 
Don't let him gloat in the gladness of 
keeping us from gloating in our gladness. 

God meant for us to have the last word. 
The last gloat.
He intended for the gloating rights to be ours.
To be confident in our joy that comes from the Lord.

My girls are always calling people a "GOAT."
It's an acronym for the "greatest of all time."
It made me think of a good reminder for gladness:
GLOAT:
"gladness of all time."

God is our source of gladness, our joy.
Our GLOAT can only come from Him.
Not happiness, that is tied to this world, but the true GLAD TIDINGS.
The good news that this world has been conquered.
We have a savior.
And for that, we can gloat.

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