Together in Christ: 'Joyful Songs' — Zephaniah 3:16-17

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

On that day [when the Lord rescues and purifies Jerusalem,] the announcement to Jerusalem will be, "Cheer up, Zion! Don't be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

— Zephaniah 3:16-17 NLT

Key Thought

While I know this message was to Jerusalem and the Israelite people facing hard times, I believe it is also a good word for us as believers. We should add this promise to our quiver of relationship blessings. Hebrew and non-Hebrew believers make up God's people who can claim this promise. [1] The Lord, YHWH, lives among us through the Holy Spirit. He promises to be available to us and among us. [2] As we share in genuine fellowship, support each other through hard times, applaud each other for achievements, and worship God together, He delights in us with gladness. As our Father's children, how precious to know we can make Him happy by loving each other! [3]

The reality of our fragile world of decay [4] and the evil one's impact on our world [5] ensures that not all of life is cheery and bright. In tough times, we can look to God as our Savior. We can remember the depth of His great love already demonstrated in Jesus. [6] Since God went to such great, sacrificial lengths to save us, how much more will he also sustain us and calm our fears?! [7] Wow! How sweet to have relationships with other believers and also know we are part of God's family that brings our Father delight!

In the last two sentences of our verses, I hear a promise that my precious wife has used to bless me many times. She prays for the Holy Spirit to minister to me during the night as I sleep. The result is that God, who sings over me, also gives me songs in the night. [9] I often awaken with a song playing in my head and blessing my heart reminding me that God is saying to me:

"Cheer up... Don't be afraid! For the Lord, your God is [with you.] He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
[1] Galatians 3:26-29, 4:1-7; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-6, 9-12. Notice especially Galatians 3:29 that includes all believers as recipients of the promises to the Israelites.
[2] John 7:37-39; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 3:14-21.
[3] Deuteronomy 30:9-10; 1 Kings 10:9; Luke 3:21-22; Matthew 22:37-40.
[4] Romans 8:18-30; 2 Corinthians 4:6-18; 1 Peter 1:3-5.
[5] John 8:44, 10:10; Ephesians 6:10-12; Hebrews 2:14-15.
[6] John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-11; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 3:16-18, 4:7-12.
[7] Romans 8:31-34; Ephesians 1:3; Revelation 1:3.
[8] Job 35:10; Psalm 42:8, 77:5-6.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I don't understand all the dynamics of You being the one true and living God, and yet known to me as Father, Son, and Spirit. Still, dear God, I have experienced Your presence in all three avenues of Your revealed being. Thank You for reminding me to cheer up, not be afraid, and experience Your delight in me as I draw near You and Your children. Thank You for singing over me and ministering to me as I sleep and waking me with loving reminders of Your presence during the night. Open my eyes and my heart to include others in this circle of Your family blessings. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 42:1-8; Revelation 7:9-17
  • Psalm 47:1-9; Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV

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Illustration

Illustration of Zephaniah 3:16-17 NLT — On that day [when the Lord rescues and purifies Jerusalem,] the announcement to Jerusalem will be, "Cheer up, Zion! Don't be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.