Psalm 33:1 “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.”
My college dean of women, Marlene Evans, who is now in heaven, taught us to be rejoicing Christians. The best way she taught us this was by being a rejoicing Christian herself! Her body was full of cancer and yet God allowed her to live 19 years with that disease before taking her home to heaven. She made trips to and from Mayo clinic numerous times for treatment, and on days she felt strong enough, she was in the classroom teaching. She was one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met! She laughed and smiled constantly. She greeted everyone happily! She spoke positively of others. She did not allow gossip and criticism in her presence, and if you said a derogatory word about someone else in her presence, she quickly and lovingly defended that person. Those of us under the tutelage of Mrs. Evans remember well that she ended every class hour quoting together with her students, Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice.”
Fast forward 20+ years later, I still think of her anytime I hear or read the word, “Rejoice.” Such was the case with Psalm 33:1 – “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.”
I enjoy word studies so allow me to highlight three words in this verse:
Rejoice – Shout or sing for joy
Praise – Singing hymns; singled out for praise
Comely – becoming; attractive; beautiful
This verse teaches that rejoicing and praising is becoming; is attractive and beautiful not only to God, but, I might add, to others.
Mrs. Evans learned that this “rejoicing” behavior could only result from responding in obedience to the Scriptures. How can a lady who lives every day in pain and her strength weak, show up to class with a smile on her face, praising God and encouraging others? She was grateful to God for another day of life, another day to influence, and another day to rejoice. “Rejoicing and Praising” became who she was. Borrowing a phrase from Isaiah 61:3, you might say she wore the “garment of praise.“ Her spirit of rejoicing and praise was contagious! Her rejoicing spirit influenced others to also be rejoicing Christians!
You don’t have to wait until you are an older Christian to be a rejoicing Christian. The commands of the Bible are for ALL ages of Christians and it’s up to each one of us individually to obey Psalm 33:1, Philippians 4:4, and many other Bible verses that teach us to be a rejoicing and praising Christian.
Young person, you CAN be different (in a good way!) And DECIDE to be a rejoicing Christian! You may not realize until many years from now, the impact you will have on other Christians in your age group but I promise you, be it a person-to-person conversation, texts, or social media posts- people will be influenced by you! They will want to be around you more, hear you praise the Lord more, and hear you build others more with your words! This type of spirit is attractive to others!
What is YOUR spirit wearing? Is it wearing the garment of grumbling? The garment of gossip? Would you decide today to put on the garment of praise and rejoicing? My life has been greatly changed because of the influence of one lady, who wore the garment praise and rejoicing! What will YOUR spirit wear today?
Ms. Zana Reichen
Ladies Dorm Supervisor | Commonwealth Baptist College