Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. — Psalm 103:1-22
Coming to a meeting with people you know are grumpy or perhaps being the grumpy person yourself, is one of the least enjoyable experiences in life.
Years ago, in preparation for just such a meeting, someone suggested we include praising God through song.
Honestly, it was as awkward as you are imagining it to be, but it also, by God’s grace, lowered the temperature.
It was truly special experiencing the Lord inhabiting the praises of his people.
In this Psalm, David provides a deluge of reasons as to why he and why we should praise God.
This compilation of the numerous expressions of God’s love is bookended with the only reasonable response — “Let all that I am praise the Lord.”
The reasons generally fit into two categories.
The first is all the blessings we don’t deserve that he has given us, and the second is all the discipline we do deserve that he refrains from giving us — grace and mercy.
As you consider the items from each list, which ones really resonate with you?
The implications of any one of them are truly staggering.
David is challenging his people and us as we read to ask ourselves one fundamental question, “If all these things are true, why is there so little praise coming from his people?”
Praise is like rolling a snowball downhill, once we start it, it gains mass, acceleration and impact.
Ultimately, it alters every aspect of life.
Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. — Heb. 6:1-20
As we loaded and stacked wagon after wagon of hay bales, it really felt like the field we were working in kept getting bigger.
Between the heat, the dust and our aching bodies there was very little confidence that we would finish before the sunset.
The only thing we could do was just keep on going.
One more bale. One more wagonful. One more row high in the barn’s attic. And then, mercifully, “That’s all for today guys.”
Here, the author of Hebrews is talking to some tired people.
Their fatigue was rooted in their work for God and their love for God displayed by caring for each other.
Their cultural environment was hostile to them.
Rejection, injustice, and outright persecution caused some among them to be tempted to become spiritually dull and indifferent.
The promises of God, he reminded them, belong to those who hold fast to their faith and endure to the end.
There are days when “keeping on” feels impossible. This situation won’t change. This relationship is dead and needs to be buried.
We keep doing the right things only to be wronged in the end.
The Bible calls for endurance and perseverance because this life here requires it.
It’s a fallen world.
Life isn’t fair.
People are problematic.
It’s why we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and keep on.
God has given us his oath and his promise.
The hope we have in Jesus is sure.
Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.