It has been a while since my last post. Honestly, I feel a little rusty.
I want to share a message I shared with my church at the end of August. It is titled ‘Praising the Lord through it all’. It is a message I truly believe in. After my mum had passed, I did struggle with knowing how to pray and how to be at peace. When it came to my time with the Lord, I would often find myself praising Him and thanking Him for who He was. The promises and character of God were the certainties I knew. It was not praise that had me on my feet in a joyful dance. It was the praise of a girl with a broken heart who was being reminded of the God who held her and was with her every step of the way. It was a whisper of praise but praise that helped to bring hope and peace.
I have been reminded of how faithful God is even in grief and suffering. He is a God who is control and will always be in control. Even in our suffering or the suffering we see around the world, we serve a God who is in the midst of it. These truths are echoed by the Psalmist.
I pray this message would be a blessing for all who read it. God bless. Victoria. xx
Praising the Lord through it all.
Praise is something we all like to achieve. It is a result of being acknowledged for something we do well.
We are quick to praise other people and to praise the gadgets and everything we own.
The opposite of praise is to criticise and condemn. I am sure many of us can relate to how quickly we can go from praise to condemnation.
When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, how often are we found praising Him for who He is and all He continues to do? Is our praise only found in the good times? How often are we found complaining and criticising the Lord for how events are unfolding in our life?
For the past few months, I have been spending time in the psalms. I enjoy the honesty of the psalms. The Psalmists are never afraid to tell God how it is and how they are feeling. The other thing I love about the psalms is the character and faithfulness of God are never forgotten. The Psalmist’s world could be falling down around them, and though they question the presence of the Lord within their situation. They do not make God out to be false to who He has promised to be. Their praise is honest and true.
I have chosen a psalm for us to go through, it is a short one but it is a reminder of how God can be praised through the good and the bad. It does not come naturally for us to praise in the hard times. However, it does change the posture of our hearts and minds. This psalm reminds us of who God is and who we are to Him. Even when the times get tough; we know our Lord and Saviour is someone who can be trusted even in the midst of our struggles.
(v1-2) Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
- A life of devotion to praise and worship the Lord. The psalmist praise is not constrained to certain goals or achievements. It is praise, that is not focused solely on the good God is doing in his life but a praise focused on who God is and all that God does.
- It comes as part of a relationship with the Lord, daily walking with the Lord. Seeing the goodness and faithfulness of God.
- It is not an empty praise. It is easy to say words or sing words, it looks like we are praising God but actually our hearts and minds are far from praising God. The psalmist is looking for his soul to be praising the Lord. It is a praise which moves the mind, heart and soul closer to God. A praise like that comes from a deep recognition of realising who God is and has always been.
(v3-4) Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that day their plans come to nothing.
- There are many things/people who are praiseworthy here on earth.
- We like to celebrate people who do good and who make a change. There is nothing wrong with that, it is beautiful to be able to celebrate with people.
- It becomes a problem when what we are praising becomes what we are putting our hope in.
- When we praise what is fleeting our hope is easily destroyed.
- Power and authority can be gone in an instant.
- Warned to be aware of where we are placing our hope and trust. When we put it in people our lives will quickly be destroyed like theirs are.
- In contrast to putting our hope in people, we can put our hope in God which leads to different results.
(v5-6) Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – he remains faithful forever.
- The Lord is always in control. When we put our hope in the Lord, it is a steadfast hope which can stand the test of time.
- Whose help is the God of Jacob. To allow God to help, means surrendering and humbling oneself; allowing the Lord to have control.
- Knowing that the Lord is much more capable than we can ever be. It is only through Christ we are able to accomplish great feats.
- Ephesians 3:20 ‘ Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask of think.
- The Lord’s authority and power do not need to be doubted. Everything the Lord creates and has power over, never leaves His control.
- Psalm 145:13 ‘Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your kingdom endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all his promises and faithful in all he does.’
- The Psalmist highlights this truth in the next few verses.
(v7-9) He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow.
- The Lord takes care of everything and everyone.
- Sometimes we can feel hopeless and useless in situations, when there is little we can do for people whether they be near or far.
- When we read this psalm, we are reminded of our Lord who is fully in control. The Lord was in control long before we even attempted to be in control. We are not praying to a God who is distant to the people we are praying for. The Lord is not distant to the situation we are facing. He is a lot closer to them and to us, a lot closer than we could ever imagine.
- A wonderful truth to praise God for. Where we fall short, the Lord is already reaching out and bringing change even in the hardest situation.
- When we praise God for all He can do and continues to do. It restores our hope and trust. Even when we everything may be crumbling around us, we can praise God.
- It does not mean there will be events, etc, which unfold that we cannot understand why it was allowed to happen. Even in the grief and the hardship which follows, God has promised to be in the midst of it all.
- The Lord is the restorer and upholder of all things and all causes.
(V10) The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion for all generations.
- Praise the Lord forever and forever; for He reign forever and always.
In our reading of the psalm does it change how we choose to praise God?
Can we see that God is worthy of our praise even in the good and the bad?
What can we do to implement more praise in our life? Not praising the fleeting things but praising our Lord and Saviour.
Praise is as simple as starting with a thank you. It is in reminding ourselves who God is and learning to surrender all we are to Him. Praise changes the heart and gives hope even in the midst of hardship. May we not be afraid to praise our Lord and Saviour even in the midst of our struggles, the Lord will always be faithful and true to all He has promised.