2 Kings 10:32-12:21; Acts 18:1-22; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 18:1
"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you" (Ps. 145:1-2a).
I love this psalm of praise, adoration, and thanksgiving. Being thankful and having a heart that is quick to praise are such safeguards against so many types of evil (discontentment, jealousy, anger, self-pity, and bitterness, to name just a few) that want to take hold of our minds and hearts. Many times, we have stressed being thankful in this blog, and that's mainly because it is so many times stressed in the Scriptures again and again. Every single day, we are to praise him.
"One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works" (Ps. 145:4-5).
In the service at church this past Sunday, our pastor was using this idea of praise and thanksgiving to talk about hope and faith. He made the point that being thankful and praising God for the deeds he has done in the past isn't just about being thankful and praising for those things. It is also about developing hope and faith and certainty that God will again be faithful and provide for us in the future. Being thankful strengthens our faith, our trust. He did it before; he will do it again.
"We will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness" (Ps. 145:7).
It is good to celebrate God's goodness to us, to have a party. We don't try to downplay his goodness or have false humility, but rather have joy and exuberance as we revel in his goodness. Our hearts will become so tender and soft to the One who prompts that kind of celebration.
"The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down" (Ps. 145:14).
Even in times of hardship, we can praise him. We know he will lift us up. He has in the past; he will again. We can praise him because he is the kind of God who bends down to lift up his creation.
"The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing" (Ps. 145:15-16).
For me, these are the most powerful verses in the psalm. They conjure up images of a kind and loving Father who delights to hear from his people. All eyes look to him and he is anxious to satisfy their desires. He knows the right time to open his hand and abundantly provide. Too soon might not be good, and too late would not be beneficial either. But at just the right time, he opens his hand and the desires are completely fulfilled.
O Lord, we do praise your name. We cannot help but praise your name. You have been abundantly good. Give us thankful hearts. Give us eyes that look to you and wait upon your goodness. Give us faith to know that you have always provided and you always will.
- Mary Matthias
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