Is Anyone Happy?
“...Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” (James 5:13 NIV)
God never provided for us an exact order of service for the early Church, because he knew we would try to copy it and lose the spirit of worship in the process. One thing we do know about them, however—and this is something we could and should emulate—is that they were the singing-est and praying-est group of people you could ever imagine. That was the secret of the early Church! And it should be ours as well.
James, the half-brother of our Lord, who ended up being a leader in the early Church, exhorted the flock, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” So that was their reaction to everything in life: As you walk though your day, do you see anything that reminds you of God’s goodness? Anything that brings joy to your heart? Do you recall something God has done for you in the past? Then sing praises to God! Is anybody happy? In other words, is it well with your soul? Then sing praises to God.
Does this still apply today? Let’s face it: you’re not going to hear too much about singing unto God on Wall Street. When someone’s stock goes up, you don’t see people singing songs of praise in the middle of the Stock Exchange. In fact, singing praises to God is thought to be ridiculous by the business world, by politicians, by intellectuals. No one in the world would credit singing praises to God as being important. Oh, but James says it’s very important!
In fact, if what James said is the Word of God—and it is!—then wouldn’t you agree that many of us are living in disobedience to the Word of God? Is anybody happy among us? Do we see anything of God’s blessing and favor in our lives? The Bible tells us that if we see it, then we should sing praises unto God. Christians today, like the early Church, should be the singing-est people in the world. Nevertheless, even Christians at times don’t count singing as important; or they sing or listen to music only when they go to church on a Sunday, but that can get very rigid and traditional if it’s done only as a form. But James is saying, “Is anybody happy at any time? Then sing praises to God! Lift up your heart and your voice and say, ‘Thank you, Lord!’”
The early Church had no professional counselors or soloists or church growth experts, but they were strong. It’s no wonder! They followed the command given them by James under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! We can do the same. Today, let’s take a look at our lives and see it as an opportunity to thank God and sing praises unto him for all he’s done for us—in the little things and the big things in life! In fact, let’s begin to praise him right now for the multitude of blessings he has given us! Think of the needs he has met. Think about where he’s brought us from, and the heartaches he has saved us from! When we weren’t looking for him, guess what? He was looking for us! Are we happy? Then let’s acknowledge that it is God giving us joy unspeakable and full of glory! We were created by him to praise him. Let’s start singing praises to him today!
Read James 5:13-15.