In Times of Trouble, Shout For Joy
David expresses his enormous faith in God throughout the Psalms, but especially in Psalms 32, 33 and 34. In these Psalms he expresses a much-needed approach to suffering and trouble. Twice he says "shout for joy". And in Psalm 32:7b he says, "... You will surround me with songs of deliverance...." In other words, in the midst of trouble, God Himself will surround him with songs of deliverance, or victory! This is David's way of describing his faith in God.
Hebrews 11:1 expresses this another way: "... now faith is the substance [realization or confidence] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...." As the old hymn states it, faith IS the victory that overcomes the world. So David is bearing witness to the faithfulness of God in his life. In times of trouble, he can "sing to the Lord and shout for joy" because he is confident that God not only WILL give him victory, but has ALREADY given it to him. It is only a matter of time until he possesses this victory of God for his life.
Now I sense that the "shout of joy" is a victory shout. Such a shout does two things, among others:
1) It unnerves the enemy.
2) It encourages and emboldens God's people.
Perhaps we could picture this in terms of teams about to go into "conflict" in a game. They gather together, put their arms around each other (sometimes with the coach in the middle) and utter the loudest shout they can. It is a shout of anticipated victory over their rivals. When the opposing team hears this shout and sees their confidence, it is hoped that this will in some way unsettle them. It also gives courage to the team even if they are playing the strongest team in their league.
So listen to David in these Psalms: "... everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance...." (Psalm 32:6-7). Again, "... I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye ... [He] who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!" (Psalm 32:8,10,11).
David constantly expresses this joy in victory, even when in the midst of trouble. In Psalms 33 and 34, "... I sought the Lord, and He heard me ... and delivered me from all my fears ... [They] looked to Him and were radiant; and their faces were not ashamed ... [This] poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles ... O taste and see that the Lord is good ... those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing ... [Sing] to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy...." (Psalm 33:3; 34:4-6,8,10).
Now, let's look at the application to our lives in the midst of our workplaces, homes and communities.
Every believer walks in victory, all the time. There should be (yes, must be) songs of deliverance and shouts of joy on our lips. A watching world knows nothing of this victory in the believer's life. But God is honored when there is a constant "shout of joy" on our lips, when we together shout out the coming victory we are expecting from our Lord, in Whom we have placed our faith.
What a witness this will be: joy, in the midst of trouble, because of our God. How greatly encouraging this will be to the ones who may have become discouraged or even disheartened among God's people. And how deeply honoring to God this is, when His children believe Him, trust Him and live according to such faith.