“I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.
I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre…
My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long.” Psalm 71:14-24a
The Lord God has a good, solid record, long and consistent. His deeds are numberless, His strength and power inexhaustible, His character faithful. And what He has done in the past we can count on Him to do again and again and again. (Psalm 40:5; 147:5)
Beginning the morning with praise and thanksgiving fills our minds with the gracious, immutable God. Recounting His works, recording His wonders, listing answers to prayer, and singing His attributes settle us in contentment and serenity, and prepare us with expectancy for the day ahead. We are reminded and ready, buoyed by His goodness, and buttressed against any oncoming storm.
But when we take our focus off of Him, and allow challenges and problems to blur our spiritual vision, we regress to worry and complaint. We fret with busyness and fail to pray. We make plans that disregard Him, and muster up flesh strength. We set up new idols and take back our trust. We absorb fear and trouble from the media, and neglect His good news. We whine and grumble rather than rehearsing His greatness to ourselves and others. The enemy delights in blinding our vision and sullying our witness.
Why is it we get into impossible situations and think He won’t meet us there? Why do we doubt He’s made a way of escape from temptation, or a path of redemption in a broken relationship? He does not change! His promises still stand and His plans can’t be thwarted. His deeds are ongoing, and His attributes are infinite. He always finishes what He’s begun, and proves faithful over and over. Will we today implement this refrain? (Job 42:2; Psalm 33:10-11; Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 1:6)
“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!” ~Louisa M. R. Stead (1882)
Father, may my living and praise be as constant as You, so You are magnified.