Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Psalm 98:4 NLT
People shout to express a variety of emotions. Some people shout to express displeasure with a person or thing when they feel they are not heard. Others shout to communicate their satisfaction. People shout in sports events to support their teams or at a music concert when they are fully immersed in the experience.
In Joshua 6, the wall of Jericho came tumbling down through the shout of the Israelites. Historians tell us that the shout of the Israelites caused a seismic event that weakened the foundation of Jericho's wall and brought it down. The Israelites were often instructed to shout to the Lord in their worship service. They shouted when they recaptured the Ark of the Covenant from the Philistines in 1 Chronicles 15.
In today’s text, David exhorts the assembly to shout to the Lord. David often shouted to God when he was in distress. Shouting is the right way of releasing stress and anxiety—particularly when the shouting is part of praise. A shout of praise conveys our gratitude to Almighty God and lets the enemy know we will not be silenced. When we shout to the Lord, powers and principalities pay attention, and they shudder in fear.
During a military campaign, soldiers often shout as they confront their enemies on the battlefield to instill fear and gain a mental advantage. Christians should shout more often. Too many of us are far too timid and reserved in dealing with the vicissitudes of life. Some of us need to shout more routinely so we can instill fear in the people and spirits that come against us.
In most Black Churches, people shout throughout the worship service to praise God and convey their determination to “yet hold on” despite their circumstances. Shouting in the Black Church is a form of spiritual and emotional therapy. We shout to the Lord because we trust that he hears our cries and can deliver us from our troubles.
Shouting for shouting sake can be counterproductive and even emotionally harmful. However, when we shout to the Lord, we can change the atmosphere and alter our predicament. Shouting to the Lord comes from our inner confidence that God hears and delights in hearing our voices. When we shout to the Lord, we monopolize the attention of the Almighty as we invite him to commune with us in Spirit and truth.
During this season of pandemic and social unrest, many people are struggling with mental health issues. Shouting to the Lord is an effective therapy that can help our mental and spiritual health. There is yet another benefit to shouting. When we shout for joy to the Lord, we gain strength for our Christian journey and hope for tomorrow.
Shouting for joy is transcendental and transformational. Our spirits are renewed when we shout for joy. We become more resilient in dealing with adversity when we shout for joy. Let us not allow our souls to be overwhelmed, and our spirits to be stressed during this pandemic. Instead, we should shout for joy to the Lord. Let us praise His name and give him glory. For, out of our joy will come power and authority over visible and invisible forces.
It is the time to release the shout that has been brewing in the inner recesses of your soul. Let the enemy know that you may be hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Send forth your shout to the Lord as you give him all your cares and receive his everlasting peace.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, we shout for joy to your glorious name. Please help us to trust you and to rejoice in you as we persevere through our Christian journey.