So what is the happiest place on earth?
If you do a Google search, you’ll discover that, according to the Happiness Index (I didn’t know there was such a thing), it’s Denmark.
But if you look at the next couple of results in your Google search, you’ll find references to Disneyland because Disneyland’s official tagline is, “The Happiest Place on Earth!”
So where is your happiest place on earth? Is it the mountains, the beach (or shore), an island, another country?
There are several places I would list but one has become more prominent as a result of the restrictions from the pandemic: worship.
When the pandemic restrictions were in full force, I really missed being able to gather in-person for worship.
I love it we gather to worship the Lord and praise His name. The Lord is present with us in wonderful and powerful ways whether we’re celebrating His steadfast love or crying out to Him in our brokenness.
I was thinking about worship as I was reading this short Psalm. Psalm 100 brings us to a great place of worship as we are reminded of an astounding truth in verse three, “we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
The Psalm reminds us that we belong to the Lord. That‘s an affirmation that we need to be reminded of from time to time and one that is echoed throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments in the imagery of a Shepherd (John 10.1-5, 11; Isaiah 40.11; Ezekiel 34.15-16).
This Psalm also carries that shepherding imagery. From the other passages I mentioned we know that the Lord treasures us. You are the Lord’s treasure. He doesn’t forget about you, He won’t lose you or allow someone to steal you away from you.
You belong to Jesus and no one is going to take you from Him. Jesus Himself affirms that promise in John 10.28 when He says, “no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
The Lord relentlessly cares for us and that is cause for us to gather in worship and praise.
And it also is cause for a response on our part in three ways.
First, we’re to place our trust in the Lord. Everything around us will shift and change, but we don’t have to be afraid or anxious because we know that the Lord is our shepherd and so our challenge is to listen to His voice and to trust the Lord in every circumstance. That’s something that is easy to say, but it takes work to live out that trust.
Second, it’s our part to know, listen to, and follow the voice of Jesus. Not every voice we hear in life is one that we need to pay attention to or allow to speak into our hearts. But if we’ll center our lives on Jesus’ voice, we know that it will always be good. That’s not to say that we won’t be without our challenges. We’re never promised that life will be picture perfect if we follow Jesus, but we are promised that it will be good.
Third, it’s our part to celebrate and rejoice! Our voices are to lead all of creation in shouts for joy and blessings to the Lord because He is good, because His steadfast love endures forever, because the Lord is faithful, but most of all, because He is our good Shepherd, and we belong to Him!
My encouragement to you this day is to know the voice of Jesus, to trust and follow His voice alone, and then lift your voice in worship and praise because you belong to Him.
God bless you and know that you are prayed for constantly.