(By Theanna Joyce)
“Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise Him” (Psalms 33:1 NLT).
What beautiful words these are! But when I first read them, I did not react by praising and singing to God. No, my thoughts were more self-focused—God, who am I to sing joyful praises to you? Am I godly? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’ve committed (what we might term) “big” sins, but before God, I know that I’ve sinned. The way I react when I’m angry at my sister—my words, thoughts. I know that this isn’t Christ-like. My laziness—procrastination—is it godly? What about when I’m silent instead of sharing the love of Christ to the world? Who am I? I know that the godly need to sing praises with joy to God, but who am I?
You see, what I was forgetting in this entire thought process is that God knows exactly who I am—and He still asks me to praise His name and sing joyfully to Him.
When we keep reading in Psalm 33, we run into verse 4, which reads, “The Word of the Lord holds true.” What an incredible reminder—because we need to remember that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). We need to remember that, as Christians, we “became righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith” (Phil 3:9). Even Isaiah reminds us that God “has covered [us] with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10 ESV). Knowing that these words of the Lord stand true, we need to really believe that in Christ and before God, we are pure and righteous.
Don’t take this to mean that we can live anyway we want and “hide” behind God’s grace because God is very clear in letting us know that we can’t. Paul tells us in Romans 6 that we have died to sin and are called to live righteously for God. Furthermore, Paul writes in Ephesians that we must “live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ” (1:27).
If we really believe that we are pure and righteous before God, don’t you think that it would change how we act? Don’t you think that it’ll help us to worship God and joyfully, joyfully sing praises to Him?