Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: A Joyful Noise – Matt Forte

The Psalms and Proverbs are my favorite books of the Bible because there’s just so much knowledge and wisdom inside. Every time I read them, something new sticks out to me.

The only verse I have tattooed on me is Psalm 27:1, which says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” I feel God’s power and strength in me through these words. I know that since the Lord is my light and my salvation, there is nothing I should be afraid of. I don’t have anyone to fear but God because He is the stronghold of my life.

Every time I sign my autograph, I include Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Whether or not you are walking with Jesus, this is a truth everyone needs to hear. It’s an easy way to understand both God’s love for us and how our priorities should be placed. It’s so simple and yet so powerful. If we lean on God, trusting Him instead of our own understanding (as we are all prone to do), and if we acknowledge Him in the way we treat people, in the music we listen to, in our decision making, and in everything we do, He will direct our paths.

I’ve been teaching my 4-year-old daughter how to memorize Scripture. Most recently we’ve been working on Psalm 100.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” — Psalm 100

Not only is this a pretty easy one to memorize, it really speaks to me. No matter what I’m doing, I can make a joyful noise unto the Lord. I could be having a bad day, or simply lacking energy or excitement for the day, but when I think about this verse I remember just how blessed I am. It causes me to be mindful of how grateful I should be that God has put me in the situation I’m in. I should make a joyful noise, whether that’s singing or making other people laugh or encouraging them. Joy is an awesome thing — it’s not circumstantial. If God has given you joy in your heart, no one can take that away.

It’s amazing to see her memorize these truths so well. Helping her memorize Bible verses solidifies these truths in my own heart as well. She has six or seven verses down so far and is always excited to recite them with me. I’m excited to watch these truths take root in her heart and mind.

Now that I have kids of my own, God has revealed so much to be about how we are to be childlike — not childish, but childlike. When I come home from practice to see my 1-year-old son running up to me with his arms out, looking up to me and yelling, “Daddy!” I know that’s how I should be running toward my Heavenly Father. We should be actively seeking Him like our kids pursue us.

I also see the way my kids, especially my youngest son, trust me. He’ll see me by the couch, run up onto it and, without saying anything, jump off because he knows I’ll always catch him. As adults, we often lose this kind of blind trust. But as Christians, we should be living our lives as children do — being willing to take a leap of faith, knowing that God has our backs and He will always catch us.

By focusing on the truth and instruction He’s given us in His Word, we can build our confidence and trust in Him.

Matt Forte

Matt Forte is a running back with the New York Jets and a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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