PRAISE ‘N’ PROBLEMS
Father, on this Lord’s Day, I delight in You. Your compassion, Your companionship, and Your care are amazing.
Read Psalm 138
1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
2 I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
that it surpasses your fame.
3 When I called, you answered me;
you greatly emboldened me.
4 May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
when they hear what you have decreed.
5 May they sing of the ways of the Lord,
for the glory of the Lord is great.
6 Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
though lofty, he sees them from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
with your right hand you save me.
8 The Lord will vindicate me;
your love, Lord, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBring to mind a time when God helped you with troubles that you were facing. How did it feel to know that God was on your case? Thank him for his help in your life.
As in so many of the psalms, we read of the challenges of life (v 7) as the setting for thanksgiving (v 1). You may be gathering with other Christians to praise God today. Look around. Even if it is not apparent, it is certain that you are surrounded by people facing a range of challenges in their lives. How do we give thanks, despite our problems?
Notice that David chooses to praise (v 2): he doesn’t wait until his problems are sorted out. He knows that, in the very act of praise, God will reveal himself again as the loving and faithful centerpiece of his life (v 2). Next, he reflects on God’s past help as a means of readjusting his perspective on his problems (v 3). Then, he reminds himself that although life is tough, God is especially close to the needy. It may appear that those who ‘have it all together’ are especially blessed, but appearances can be deceptive (v 6).
David draws great confidence from his ‘praise-encounter’ (vs 7,8). It really is ‘good to praise the Lord’ (Psalm 92:1)!
Will you give thanks to God ‘with all your heart’ today? What do you see in God that you want to say ‘thank you’ for? And what is there in your circumstances, your past, your relationships, to praise God for? Make a start now!
Mighty God, what a blessing it is to know that You inhabit the praises of Your people. In the face of the multiplicity of problems in front of me, I praise You and trust You!
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