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Pure Joy

Briefing: In my first week out of academy, I was on patrol with my FTO in south Oak Cliff. I remember officers getting into a chase with a stolen car and it was headed in our direction. I was able to get into the chase and take part in the arrest. I got into a lot of chases in my career but this one stood out. At the end of the chase, when the thief was cuffed and in the back of a squad car, I remember the air of excitement. No one got hurt, no cars were damaged, and the bad guy was in handcuffs. There were shouts of joy and high fives for everyone, even the rookie fresh out of academy. It was a great moment.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 47.

On the Street: Like many of the Psalms, they tend to build or continue a theme from one to another. In Psalm 46, we talked about giving focus to God. The last half of verse 10 said, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” In Psalm 47, we do just that.

This Psalm is all about exalting God and singing about His glory. There is a party going on! Joy, praise and excitement paint the picture of these worshipers as they give glory to our great God. When I use to think of people giving glory to God, I would picture a monastery with monks chanting in a monotone voice. That did not seem like joy to me. That was not the kind of joy you would find at a football game when the Cowboys just scored another touchdown!

This Psalm is the kind of reaction I think God wants and deserves. When a human comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the angels sing and celebrate! It is a great victory. It is always exciting to be on the winning team and that is what this celebration is all about.

Verse 2 says, “How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!” Verse 7, “For God is the King of all the earth; sing to Him a psalm of praise.” All nine verses speak of this celebration that is taking place. My question is, how often do we take part in this joyful party? There is revelry and festivities going on all around us. The Bible says the rocks cry out to Him. Listen to the birds singing in joyful celebration.

I know how this sounds but this joy should be our default. It is what we need to work on developing as our “go to” attitude. When we are at rest, this joyful mindset should set in as our normal. When we are still, a smile should take over our completion and our thought should drift back to what God has done for us this day.

Imagine what our day would be like if this was the normal for us. How would people around you react if, even during the worst calls, you looked for the best, you tried to figure out a way to love well, to be a help in times of need? You would start to look more like Jesus, and isn’t that the goal?

Investigational Resources: James 1:2, Acts 16:16-40.

Officer Safety Principle: Giving glory to God is why we were put on this earth. Are you fulfilling your purpose?

from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!