by Shannon Caughey
The holiday season is upon us! This is typically a busy time of the year. If the team you coach is in season, this is especially true. Add to that family gatherings, work parties, maybe some end-of-the-year responsibilities—and pretty soon you’re racing through these weeks at break-neck speed. Many of the extra holiday schedule-fillers are good and fun. The challenge, however, is that the whirlwind of activities can cause us to miss the most important invitation: come to God.
Psalm 100 powerfully communicates this invitation:
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
With this and the next several devotions, let’s explore Psalm 100’s invitation to come to God: how we are to come to him, and why we come to him. As we do so, my hope is that we will experience a deepening of our hearts for God during the holiday season.
At any time of the year, it is easy to get into a rut of performing daily coaching and life responsibilities out of a sense of obligation. We know that we’re supposed to do these things, so we do them. This can spill over into how we relate to God. We know that we should pray and read the Bible. At Thanksgiving, we should be grateful for the blessings we’ve received.
Psalm 100 opens with an invitation to come to God not merely out of obligation. Instead, come to God with real joy: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” Joy is a deep delight at the core of our being based not on favorable circumstances but rather on the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. The psalmist bookends this psalm by saying we can “shout for joy to the Lord” (v. 1) because “the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (v. 5).
We receive the joy of the Lord’s abundant goodness, love, and faithfulness when we put our trust in Christ. We have the joy of knowing Jesus rescues us from the penalty we deserve for our sinful rebellion against God. We have the joy of knowing Jesus reconciles us to our Heavenly Father who loves us and from whom every good and perfect gift comes. We have the joy of knowing the Lord is with us, we are completely secure in his love, and he is faithfully carrying out his good work in us.
No wonder we can shout for joy to the Lord! This is an invitation to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness to us day by day. Though present circumstances may be challenging, we can choose joy by holding fast to what we know is true of God and recognizing the evidence we have of his ongoing goodness and faithfulness. As we do so, the Lord cultivates even deeper confidence in him—which leads to even deeper joy.
Coach, you can carry out daily coaching and life responsibilities—whether these responsibilities are exciting, mundane, or somewhere in between—with joy. You can navigate this busy time of the year with joy. You can respond to unfavorable circumstances with unshakable joy. How? By focusing on God’s goodness and faithfulness, definitively demonstrated in Jesus Christ.
Make it your daily practice to respond to Psalm 100’s invitation to come to God with joy. As you trust Jesus and his ongoing good and faithful work, you have abundant reasons to shout for joy to the Lord. May deep delight in Christ fuel how you live and how you coach.
For reflection: Spend some time praising God for his goodness and faithfulness. Thank him for the joy he gives you. Pray that you would live and coach with joy in all circumstances.