Dr. Dan Hayden •
Have you ever worked hard at something that you really enjoyed doing? It was hard work, but you did it with gladness because it was really what you wanted to do.
Psalm 100 is a psalm of thanksgiving. It begins by telling us to “shout joyfully to the Lord,” and then says that we should “Serve the Lord with gladness.”
The word “gladness” here is a Hebrew word that means “gladness and rejoicing,” like you would experience at a banquet or a party. It comes from a verb that means “to be glad, or cheerful, or merry.” In fact, the basic idea of this root verb means “to brighten up” – like when something good happens, and your face brightens up because you’re glad and excited.
Now the Psalmist is saying that when a person is truly thankful to the Lord, then there is a desire to serve Him. It is what you really want to do, and when you get the chance to do it, it makes you glad. You have a sense of privilege and excitement. The opportunity to serve the Lord brightens your day.
Do you remember Mark Twain’s story, “The adventures of Tom Sawyer”? Tom was white-washing a fence; it was hard work. But he convinced ol’ Ben that white-washing the fence was really a privilege. He got Ben so excited about it that Ben took up the job and did it with gladness.
In like fashion, the Psalmist challenges us to “Serve the Lord with gladness.” That’s what those who are thankful, do.
Say—what would it take to convince you that serving the Lord is really a privilege? ■