Bless the Lord at all Times
Psalms 34:1-3 (NRSV) 1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
David wrote this psalm when he was pretending to be crazy to escape Abimilech. Notice how he begins: I will bless the Lord at all times. David was not a fair weather follower of God. He praised Him in the good times and in the bad. My thoughts immediately go to Job, whose initial response to the loss of his family was, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” Can I tell you it takes practice to develop this level of faith?
I love the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk lived in the 7th Century B.C., and he is known as the “Questioning Prophet.” God prophesied through Habakkuk that He would raise up the Babylonian armies to destroy the Southern Kingdom of Judah because of their idol worship. Habakkuk asked why God would use someone more evil than the Israelites to punish them. In fact, every pronouncement from God was met with a question. This went on for twenty years, until finally Habakkuk’s heart is changed and he proclaims that regardless of the loss, or the lack in his life, he will rejoice in the Lord.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NRSV) 17 Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails,
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold,
and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
Don’t you love the faith of Habakkuk? While Job’s faith was strong at the beginning of his trials but seemed to wane and his tragedies multiplied, Habakkuk’s faith was weak but then grew strong. One of the questions Habakkuk asked was, “Why do you make me look at evil every day?” Do you ever feel this way? Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up one morning and there would be nothing but good news on the radio?
I would like to encourage each of you today to look for the good news. Where can it be found? Well, we used to refer to the Gospel as the Good News. What if we began to share the Good News with just one person? I’m not talking about knocking on doors. I am suggesting that you begin to develop an actual relationship with the person at the check-out lane in your local grocery store, or the person who seats you at your favorite restaurant. Let them know that you care about them with a kind word and a smile. The people who were once casual acquaintances will begin to see that you care for them, not just by the words you speak but by your actions.
I would like to share a poem written by Edgar Guess.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day, And I’d rather one walk with me, than merely show the way. For the best of all the preachers, are the men who live their creeds, and to see their good in action is what everybody needs.
I can learn to do it, if you let me see it done. I can watch their hands in action, but their tongues too swift may run. And the sermons they deliver may be very wise and true, but I’d rather get my lesson in watching what they do.
For I may misunderstand them, and the high advice they give. But there’s no misunderstanding in how they act and how they live.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Father God, today we have a chance to be the good news in someone’s life. We ask that you would lead us to the people whose hearts have already been prepared by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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