Daily Readings – Leviticus 16-17, Psalm 34
I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
This is the level of thankfulness and adoration I want to have for Jesus and the sacrifice that he made on my behalf. I want to walk through life with a childlike wonder at the fact that the God of the Universe loved me enough to take on human form and pay the ultimate price for my sins knowing that I could never earn it on my own. I want his praise to always be on my lips.
When my daughters are excited about something, it is a reoccurring theme throughout the entire day. Whether it is Grandma and Grandpa coming over, Christmas tomorrow, vacation coming soon, or a birthday party; I am going to be hearing about it constantly. Their excitement is going to be bubbling over.
I want to extol the Lord at all times. I want his praise to always be on my lips. What he has done for us is so much bigger, so much more spectacular, and so much more exciting that a birthday party. I want the posture of my heart to be one of giddy excitement.
When we are remembering what Christ has already accomplished on the cross and that our eternity is already guaranteed, it makes the normal everyday challenges we face in life shrink to their proper size.
However, maintaining this focus is always easier said than done. We may want our heart to maintain this posture throughout the day and yet the enemy is on the prowl as well. He cannot wait to swoop in and steal that childlike wonder away. If we have truly given our lives over to Christ, Satan knows that he will not be able to take that away or convince us that the eternal gift is not worth celebrating. His main weapon is not convincing us we are silly to be thankful. His weapon is distraction.
A thankful Christian is an active Christian. It is a Christian that Satan fears most. It is a Christian that naturally attracts others to learn more about Jesus because they live their faith out and you can visibly see that there is something different about them. When challenges in life come, they still have an inner peace and optimism that is contagious.
Satan may not be able to remove our thankfulness in regards to salvation, but he can certainly work hard to shift our focus.
He works hard each day to replace thankfulness with stress, pride, envy, fear, etc.
Psalm 34 goes on to tackle these challenges that arise in life:
“But what about when I am afraid?”
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
“But what if my needs are not met?”
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
“But problems keep occurring…I struggle to not lose hope and give in to frustration and stress in this life.”
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
It is easy at times to want to buy into the modern “Health and Wealth” gospel that preaches that God is going to make us all wealthy beyond belief if we just have enough faith. It is easy to think that material blessings, perfect health, etc. are the results that we should expect to see in our lives if we simply have faith the size of a mustard seed.
This is not what the Bible promises. We are not promised an easy life. In fact, we are frequently promised challenges along the way. We are promised the opportunity to take up our own cross so that we can walk with Jesus. We are promised occasional heartache. And ultimately we are promised that our God will never leave our side and will help us through everything that comes our way if we simply give over the need to have absolute control over our own lives.
Towards the end of Psalm 34 we read, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
Troubles will always be there in life. How is our thankfulness in the midst of them?
Today, I want to be able to say with full confidence, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
Thought to ponder
Spend time this morning thinking through all of the blessings God has put in your life. Don’t stop until you have a smile on your face that shouts to the world. Then walk throughout the day with praise in your heart and praise on your lips!
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