S175P4 – Filling the empty space: praise

Psa. 34:1-3

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.

David’s life certainly was a roller coaster ride.  When we think of him, it can be easy to think of the highs he experienced and the things for which we still honor him today.  His defeat of Goliath was an incredible miracle, and that cannot be denied.  His ascension to the throne of Israel seemed so uncertain at times, yet he became their great earthly king, revered for generations upon generations.  Yet, mixed in with all of this success, he also spent time alone in the wilderness unsure of whether he might live.  As he fled his enemies and begged the Lord for protection, he was alone and powerless to change his circumstances.  That is why it is so compelling to read these words of his.

David said that the Lord’s praises would be in his mouth continually.  This is the heart of a person who recognizes the goodness of God and lets it outshine the troubles of this life.  David did not say that he would praise the Lord only when times were good.  He did not say that he would praise the Lord because he is blessed.  This continual praise of God is about God being worthy of all our praise regardless of what we think or how we feel or what we experience.  In fact, as I read the writings of David through this part of his life, I think they show us that his praise of the Lord at all times had a great part in how his story unfolded.  There is simply something special about continually declaring the goodness and holiness and everything-ness of God.

The kingdom of our Lord can seem very backwards sometimes.  Just like the one who will not pray when he feels empty, some will not praise when they feel that way.  These people might think they have either no reason to praise or no worthy praise to give.  Yet, as David himself said, God can make the praise rise up in us if we surrender. [40:1-3; 51:15]  The thing is, God is worthy of our praise no matter what He does or does not do in our lives.  This is not a payment for goods or services.  He deserves to be declared the God He is at all times by every tongue.  Father, make our praises to You pure, praising You in the abundant seasons and the lean ones simply because You are worthy.