Bless the LORD!
One of my Bible readings this week was Psalm 34. The theme of this psalm is the recognition that God is good! David begins the psalm by saying that he will ‘bless the LORD at ALL times; HIS praise shall continually be in his mouth’. How easy is it to quickly forget how good God is to us? When I was a kid I would sometimes write down lists of my favourite things. Have you ever taken the opportunity to write a list of the many ways in which God has been good to you? If you are reading this then God has given you eyesight; He has enabled you to have the education in order to read; He gave you the very breath your lungs draw in enabling you to live; etc. Best of all, he has made it possible for us to have a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ and to know that He is always with us and that one day we will be with Him forever in heaven. There is so much to be thankful to God for. This also reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 which says that believers should ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in ALL circumstances (not just the pleasant ones), for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus’. Hebrews 13:15 tells us, ‘through him [Jesus] let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name’. There is that word ‘continually’ again! Praising God should be something we get in the habit of doing over and over again. Why? I believe it is because we do quickly forget God’s goodness and the struggles and hardships of life can rob us of our joy in the Lord.
David goes on to say in Psalm 34 that his soul will make his boast in the LORD and he calls on other believers to join with him in magnifying the LORD and exalting His Name (vv.2-3). One way we can do this is to join together on a Sunday and sing the praises of God together – to lift up our hearts together to God and exalt Him with our mouths and voices. It should be a tremendous encouragement as we meet together and worship the LORD in the splendour of His holiness. However, we are not just to magnify and exalt God with our mouths, we are also to do it through our actions and attitudes. I think one of the key ways to do this is to trust God with every aspect of our lives—to allow Him to reign over every part of our lives. As we seek to do this and to rest in the knowledge that whatever circumstances we face God has it all under control, we are honouring and glorifying Him. God’s plans are perfect and He IS good – His word says so. David encourages his readers to ‘taste and see that the LORD is good’. In other words, trust Him; surrender to Him and His ways and truly see (experience) God’s faithfulness and care of you. Even in the most difficult of circumstances God promises to be with us and to use them to make us stronger in our faith, to refine our character, to deepen our trust and confidence in Him, and to then give us something to truly rejoice in and praise Him for. Those who seek the LORD will lack no good thing. Satan will try to convince you of the opposite—that God withholds good from us. Don’t believe his lies. The LORD IS good, and blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.