Monday, November 9, 2009

At All Times I Will Bless Him

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together”
(Psalm 34:1-3).

Many places in Scripture urge us to praise the Lord, and I have learned what power and comfort there is in doing this. We all know Job’s story and have felt at times like him. Whether our problems are health-related or circumstance-related, everyone has had to deal with struggles and trials. We know, at least in our minds, that we should give thanks in all circumstances. Yet it is not an easy thing to do.

When my struggle with pain and depression had gone on for a seemingly endless amount of time, I remembered the above passage of Scripture and a song we sang at church based on that passage. With tears streaming down my face, in desperation I cried, “Yes Lord, I will praise you even in this. At ALL times I will bless you; your praise will be on my lips.” About that same time, a song came out by Matt Redman called “Blessed Be Your Name” with the identical theme – praise God when things are good but also praise Him when they are not. I began trying to do that more and more, and I was amazed at how God took my tears of praise and brought peace and comfort. Was I healed? Not physically, at least at this point in time. Did I receive inner healing and strength for the moment?  A resounding yes! My response of praise is slowly becoming easier, and God continues to uplift me without fail.

When the heaviness, the depression, the overwhelming feelings of incapacity and pain come upon me, I know that the exhortation to praise is not only for His glory but also for my benefit. Despite how difficult it may be to mentally and emotionally drag myself to my feet, He gives me the strength to do so. And God comes. “Those who look to him are radiant” (Psalm 34:5). Exalt His name with me.

Prayer: Father, teach me to praise You at all times, regardless of my circumstances. Give me strength to do so, knowing that as I humble myself before You, You will lift me up in due time. Amen.

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