I have been fascinated with Psalm 69 in the last few days, since I have been reading about a season in David’s life when he was at the “end of his rope.” There are probably many of us that recognise the feelings David describes. He tells that it is like being in deep miry depths, the water up to his neck and soon it will cover his head and he is drowning in trouble. He is desperate and his troubles are not small: his life is threatened; his mind is unstable; he is worn out; there is no help and his enemies are many.
He is also without hope and has found no comfort in people, he says in verse 20 “I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” He feels alone, broken and helpless. In verse 22-28 he looks to what God will do to his enemies, and concludes in verse 29 “I am in pain and distress, may your salvation, O God, protect me.”
Then in verse 30, after he has spent so much time looking at his circumstances; his enemies; crying out; being sorrowful in his heart; he suddenly says:
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.”
What struck me was that it is almost as if David paused to think about what to do; should he make a sacrifice? He straight away, considers the most valuable of legal sacrifices, like we would do, thinking that in this, we may turn the hand of God. David was thinking about what he would do in the meantime, while he waited for the Lord to rescue him. Realising that God does not delight in sacrifices, he then decides that he would make a point of:
- praising God and
- being thankful because he knows that this pleases God more than sacrifices.
This really struck a cord with me as in the past month, as God has spoken to me about my heart attitudes in times of trouble. What I have realized in the past weeks and what David does here, is that:
While we are in our difficult circumstances, the thing to do in the meantime, is to practice thanksgiving and praise God.
Thanksgiving acknowledges WHAT God has done for us, His current provision in our lives, His goodness and faithfulness to us in the past. We are to be thankful in all circumstances, having hearts that regularly count our blessings.
Praise reminds us WHO it is that we are worshiping. We are reminded of His character: His Sovereignty; His All-Powerfulness; His All-Knowingness.
Praise focuses our minds on how great our God is, not on how great our problems are.
And then, out of my own first hand experience, I am beginning to believe that the supernatural power of God is released into our lives when we purposefully practice praise and thanksgiving, no matter what our circumstances. Like God opens the doors of heaven to hear our praises. For I have experienced in my life that the moment things have changed for better, was the moments I started praising and being thankful.
God moves on our behalf when we “praise His name and glorify Him with thankfulness.”
When I am at the end of my rope, the remedy for my heart is praise and thanksgiving.
- Overwhelmed – Praise God and be thankful
- Tired – Praise God and be thankful
- Depressed – Praise God and be thankful
- Sorrowful – Praise God and be thankful
- Exhausted – Praise God and be thankful
- Worried – Praise God and be thankful
In everything, no matter what you are facing, the remedy starts with: Praise God and be thankful.
Lord help me to start with “thank you” first. Before I present my requests to you, let me start by saying thank you. Give me a heart that is always aware of how much I have to be grateful for. No matter what happens, let me be characterised with a heart that always thanks You.
The Journey, Not the Destination