I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
- Psalm 34:1 NASB
Sometimes when I'm going through a trial, I have a tendency to wear myself out trying to gain the victory. I pray almost constantly, I study my Bible with zeal, and I meditate on God's Word day and night. These are all good things that please the Lord, but I know from experience that it's possible to carry them to extremes. This was the case recently for me when God had to remind me that real faith ushers us into the rest of God. (Hebrews 4:3) After impressing upon me that I was actually doing more fretting than resting, He spoke to my heart and said, "Just praise Me". At first, I had to do it by faith because my troubles had plunged me deep into a pit of depression. As I began to sing praises to the Lord, I felt my spirits lift and my focus shift from my problems to the Problem Solver. And that was exactly what I needed because when I'm going through a trial, I have a tendency to want to figure out how I can get out of it. Unfortunately, this doesn't do a thing to bolster my faith, but instead, it just adds to my doubt, confusion, and frustration.
King Jehoshaphat had the right attitude when a "vast army" (v. 2) was coming against him and his people in Second Chronicles 20. He knew the odds were stacked against him, and there was no apparent way out of his trouble. He turned to the Lord and told Him, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." (v. 12) God brought this passage to my remembrance when I was up against my own vast army, and He showed me how singing praises to Him would help me to keep my eyes on Him, instead of on my circumstances. I realized then that I didn't need to know HOW the Lord would deliver me-only that He would. And along with this realization came the peace, joy, and reassurance that I so desperately needed.
The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. (Acts 13:22) One reason for this was his willingness to praise God even in the darkest of times. Scripture reveals that after David's first child with Bathsheba died, he went straight to the temple to worship the Lord. (2 Samuel 12:20) David knew that no matter what was going on in his life, God was still worthy of His devotion and praise. In Psalm 34:1 (NASB), he writes: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." I especially like the way the Living Bible puts it: "I will praise the Lord no matter what happens." And even though David was a mighty warrior who often relied on weapons of war for his defense, he also knew that praise was an important weapon in his arsenal. In Psalm 18:3 (NKJV), he writes: "I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies."
If you are going through some difficult times today, don't despair. Begin singing praises to the Lord right now, and discover for yourself the peace, joy, and victory that a praise-filled heart can bring!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to praise You continually, even in the midst of adversity. Show me how to shift my focus from myself and my problems to You. Remind me that even when the odds are stacked against me, You have a perfect plan for my deliverance. Thank You, Lord, that as I praise You in the midst of my problems, I will be blessed, and You will be glorified!
- J. M. Farro