I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
We live in a harsh world and that harshness has diminished our capacity for joyful praise. Our world is running through some hard challenges. We often feel the struggle to be positive much less to celebrate anything. The world has become caustic and it has corroded our ability to see well in a world that is turning inside out. While the world, people and our circumstances give us hundreds of reasons to complain, criticize and judge others harshly, God gives us a singular reason to not just be positive but to celebrate – that reason is Him.
We are often myopic when it comes to our perspective of life. Clearly it is hard to get out from behind ourselves to see the world from God’s perspective. We are often trapped by our own circumstances. We feel suffocated by the weight of our personal challenges. Our conflicts with others can be miserable and we find ourselves on the defensive, seeking to protect ourselves from the advances of others. We face trials that pound on our goals and plans. It is hard to feel like we are making progress because we are being interfered with at every step. We struggle to accomplish the things we want or need. Life can be a struggle if we have a broken body. Health issues can be devastating to our sense of significance and purpose. If we have built our value as a human being on our performance and success, we can find our personal value as a contributing member of society to take a serious beating.
David (Psalm 145) is a refreshing Psalm. It focuses our attention above our circumstances to grasp the one who has his fingerprints on our journey. The first thirteen verses almost have this ethereal, “pie in the sky” feeling to them. Everything sounds delightful, almost fairy tale in nature. The focus is God, the praise captures His worthy and majesty. David grasps God is beyond himself and his circumstances, and he leans into the reality of His grandeur. But David also speaks of a God deeply involved in his own life. He speaks of His grace and mercy (v.8), His steadfast love (v.9), His goodness and mercy (v. 9). He also acknowledges His everlasting kingdom and power (v. 11). God is not simply a philosophical concept to David. He is real and fully engaged in human affairs. He does mighty deeds (12).
God is also personal. God is not some mystical, impersonal force that we learn to tap into to manipulate events to our satisfaction. He personally responds to those who belong to Him. David speaks of Him reaching out to those who have fallen and upholds those who are humbled (14). He provides food for His people and provides for all living things (15-16). This may sound pedestrian for we take much of this for granted, often with little gratitude. But David celebrates a God who draws near to those who call out to Him (v. 18). God is intensely personal to David and the reality of that shapes his life and his view of the world.
David has amazing clarity about God and His involvement in his life. He not only speaks from a theological mindset as he embraces the reality of His existence but he also speaks out of his personal encounters with God as He has acted on David’s behalf in the circumstances of life.
David’s admonition is encouraging. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. God alone is sufficient to evoke praise and worship. But His involvement in our daily journey provides abundant opportunity to praise Him daily. Those who truly see God with great clarity and understand His faithfulness to be engaged in their life truly are the ones who know how to praise Him daily.
In His grace, Pastor Brad.