“Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.”
- Psalm 89:15
At first glance, this verse seems to simply be one more command from the book of Psalms to rejoice or to give God praise—which is how it initially appeared to me—but as I read it again recently, the Holy Spirit began to open up this verse for me in a new, revelatory way. So let’s break this verse down a little bit.
Let’s take a look at the first part, which says, “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound.” The word blessed here can also mean to be happy or joyful. What’s interesting about this part is it tells us that knowing how to rejoice precedes the blessing. So, in other words, rejoicing precedes joy. This is a counterintuitive thought. Normally we would consider rejoicing to be a product of joy, but the Word shows us that joy is a product of rejoicing!
Lately, when the Lord has shown me something, He has been backing it up with additional confirmation. Only a day or so after He showed me this, a quote by Bill Johnson appeared on one of my social media timelines that drove the point home. He expresses this truth more precisely than I could when he says, “In the world feelings precede actions. In the Kingdom feelings follow actions. Rejoice if you want joy.”
The second part of this verse is equally interesting; so let’s take a look at it as well. It tells us that those who rejoice will “walk in the light of His countenance.” God’s countenance includes His Presence. So what does this tell us? It tells us that rejoicing is a key to entering the manifest Presence of God. David says in Psalm 16:11, “In [His] presence is fullness of joy.” The Message version of Psalm 89:15 says, “Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise.” So if rejoicing is a key to entering God’s Presence, and in God’s Presence is fullness of joy, we can now see why joy is a product of rejoicing.
In life it is often easy to look at our circumstances and let them shape our actions. Our flesh would tell us that we rejoice in God out of a place of joy, but what the Word tells us is that rejoicing takes us into a place of joy! Rejoicing is not solely what we do after we are already joyful, but it is what stirs up joy within us!
In conclusion, as I was asking the Holy Spirit about the meaning of Psalm 89:15, He paraphrased the verse for me and said, “Those who have learned to rejoice in God will continually walk in the light of His glorious Presence.” I hope this encouraged you today!