“The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.”
Several thoughts are presented in this verse that would make one think that God is talking to His people in good times. In this verse, you see the joy and gladness of God’s people. In this verse, you see that the “LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” One would obviously think that everything is going well for those about whom the LORD is talking. However, the LORD was saying that He is good to a people who were in bondage. The LORD was saying that His mercy “endureth for ever” to a people who were living in a strange land. The LORD was saying that He heard the “voice of joy” and “gladness” while they were living in captivity. There are a few thoughts that God is trying to show about the character of the trusting believer that I would like to share with you.
First, the goodness of God isn’t dependent upon the quality of your life situations. God’s goodness has never been dependent upon how life is treating you. God is good whether life is good or bad. God is good whether you are healthy or sick. God is good whether you are wealthy or financially strapped. God is good because He declares He is good. God doesn’t need man’s approval to dictate His goodness because His Word and character settle His goodness. No matter what you are facing in life, you must always remember that God is good.
Second, the mercy of God isn’t based on how good you have been. God was merciful to His people while they were in captivity because of sin. Sadly, too many believers don’t want God to be merciful to the fallen believer; however, it is while we are sinners that we need God’s mercy, and may I remind you that everyone is a sinner. My friend, when Satan lies to you that God would never be merciful to you because of how “bad” you have been, always remind him that you were always bad and He was still merciful to you. You don’t have to live in life’s doldrums because you think that you are “too bad” for God to be merciful towards you. Everyday we live, we need God’s mercy because we are sinful people. Let me remind you that God is merciful to bless you, but He is also merciful at the same time not to judge you while you are being blessed because you are a sinner all the time. Never think you have to continue in sin because you are too bad because God’s mercy “endureth for ever.”
Third, joy is not reliant on agreeable life situations. The “voice of joy” can be heard when you realize that God is good in spite of your life’s situations, and He is merciful in spite of how bad you are. When you realize that the goodness and mercy of God are not on trial dependent upon your life situation is when you can find joy in life through the most difficult of circumstances.
My friend, if you never lower God to man’s character, you will always remember God’s goodness is always good, and His mercy “endureth for ever.” This is how you keep the praises of God on your lips and the joy of the LORD in your heart in the most difficult situations of life.