Joy is the potion of those who seek the Lord. From the presence of God, the bible says is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
Peter confessed that being with Jesus gives him access to words of eternal life, which is accompanied by eternal joy and the rejuvenation of our being (John 6:68).
Jesus told a woman of the kind of water he gives, will bubble in her as an eternal source of fulfilment and satisfaction (John 4:1-29).
The Bible in another place says that with joy we will draw water from the well of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). Therefore, salvation is marked by unlimited joy in us.
Paul wrote that we have the right and the capacity to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4). And from the base of that joy we overflow with thanksgiving to God, rejoicing always in his presence. We say things like: Let the Lord be magnified who has pleasure in the prosperity of his servants (Psalm 35:27).
When the light of God breaks into our soul, the shackles of darkness are loosed and the spirit of heaviness is replaced with the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3), then we have manifesting in our lives the fruits of the Spirit which comes with joy in the package (Galatians 5:22-23). We also rejoice in trials (Romans 5:3), with Paul saying that he will glory in his infirmity so that the power of God will rest on him (2Corinthians 12:9). That is genuinely possible only in Christ.
When Israel experienced the salvation of the Lord as their enemies, the army of Egypt were drowned in the Red Sea (after they passed through it on dry land as the sea miraculously parted ways for them) they rejoiced. They Lord was magnified in that day, he showed himself mighty and strong. The bible says: the Lord on high is mighty, the creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28) and the display of God’s power on behalf of his children at that time generated joy and laughter in them.
Jesus healed ten lepers at a time but only one showed a heart of thanksgiving, who, with aloud voice, praising Jesus and was rewarded with an expression of praise, which he Jesus called faith, being the way we connect to God (Luke 17:11-19).
A woman came to Jesus showing appreciation for her sins which were forgiven, and was rewarded for it. She magnified him by her action, pouring expensive oil on his feet and cleaning it with her hair, as a way to magnify the Lord (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus also described her action as faith.
David wrote about the benefits he experienced from the Lord. He said: bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name, who heals all your diseases, forgives all your iniquity, who redeemed your soul from destruction and renews your youth like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5). God has promised to forgive that he may be feared. And when we receive his forgiveness we will magnify him, since we would realise that it is by his mercy that we are not repaid according to our deeds (Lamentation 3:22).
The Pharisees challenged the right of Jesus to declare that sins are forgiven, but that is the prerogative of the mercy of God which we get to experience through Jesus, freedom from our past and freedom into the best we can be (Luke 5:17-20).
Praise is part of the Christian practice. David became the gate to the praise of God, writing many of the Psalms, and called the sweet psalmist of Israel (2Samuel 23:1).
He was adept at the use of the harp to praise God. You would not think that kind of man can be a good warrior, which he was more noted for.
It seems that he was an accidental warrior. It was something thrust on him, being the one who killed Goliath. But his first love was music. He became a mighty warrior but he was first a sweet psalmist of Israel. While the law came through Moses and grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:12-17), music came through David.
Music is one of the activities which takes place in heaven around the throne of God and if we pray that God’s will be done on the earth as it is in heaven (Mathew 6:9-13), we are definitely praying that more praises will go up to God, as incense, from the earth.
The bible says from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name shall be praised (Psalm 113:3), in a similar way that offerings were offered in the old testament temple morning and evening (Exodus 29:38-42).
The bible talks about sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). What that means for us is that while in the Old Testament animal sacrifice are constantly made in the temple, now we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16) and we offer praise to God being the fruit of our lips. The bible says that we should magnify God, give thanks to God always, just as sacrifices always to God in heaven in the Old Testament (Hebrews 13:15).
From the focus verse then we know that the rejoicing and magnifying the lord is associated with his work of salvation. We magnify him for the work of salvation which is a big deal.
The bible says that God saved his people from their destruction and “Oh that men will praise the lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men, he broke the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron in sunder (Psalm 107).”
We were all chained to sin and now we have been set free through Jesus and what flows from us is praise. Praising God shifts our attention from us to him, who he is, what he has done, his ability, his personality.
The children of Israel were set free from bondage in Egypt, we are also saved from the devil. Just as they could not do anything to save themselves, we were also limited; we could not set ourselves free, even if we try.
While we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8). He went down to the grave and was lifted up in the power of God. By going down into the grave he shared our condition of spiritual death and by being raised up from the dead, we get to share in his reality, he opened up a new vista for us, a vista of freedom, power and purpose.
Jesus said that a strong man which keeps his house makes it safe but when a stronger-than-he comes, he strips him of his armour in which he trusts and take over his goods (Luke 11:22-23). We were the goods of the devil freed by Jesus and so we magnify the Lord. We would not have been freed apart from him.