“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:1-3 (Amplified)
Bless the Lord ALL the time? Praise CONTINUALLY be in my mouth? Just exactly how are we supposed to do that, especially in this day and time? Within the past 10 days within a 30 to 35 mile radius of where I live (which is a small community) there have been two suicides, a murder/suicide, and two high school students tragically killed in an automobile accident – and we’re supposed to praise the Lord through all this? There have been families left with unanswered questions. There will be a tremendous feeling of loss when students return to school this week and their friends, schoolmates, and teammates are no longer there. It’s not just in this community; it seems to be everywhere you turn, in all kinds of circumstances. Maybe it’s not something that’s felt by a community, but more personal. Maybe your marriage is falling apart, or you’re having some pretty hefty financial difficulties, or a devastating sickness has hit you or a family member. It seems the phrase “The struggle is real” abounds in conversations and social media.
I will be the first to admit that when tough times hit praise usually isn’t the first thing out of my mouth. But when I’m not praising God in these times and magnifying Him, am I not magnifying someone or something else? When my conversation revolves around all the bad stuff going on – either in my life or even the world around me – am I not magnifying the bad stuff, the evil, even Satan himself? When you listen to the news, is it not magnifying the bad (at least most of the time) instead of the good?
However, when we turn our focus towards God and magnify Him and His goodness, something begins to happen. It’s then that we put ourselves in a position for the Lord to wrap His arms around us and comfort us and bring peace to us in a way that no one else can. He reminds us of His promises that we can rely on. He brings His strength to our weakness. If you’ll read on down to verses 17, 18 and 19 of this same chapter, the psalmist writes these words “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Amplified)
I’m also reminded of Romans 4:20-21 “No unbelief or distrust made him (Abraham) waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.” (Amplified)
I encourage you today to focus on the Lord, and magnify His goodness and greatness. Even though the “struggle may be real”, let God make His peace and love “real” to you.