Posted by: dhkrause | January 30, 2017

Bless the Lord at All Times

Photo credits:
(1) http://ourdailyblossom.com/page/87/
(2) https://www.pinterest.com/pin/573997914987176520/
(3) https://mobile.twitter.com/jessica33519438
(4) http://hopeforday.com/pin/4991/
(5) https://ramblingsofazealot.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/less-than-thankful/

The Bible teaches us to bless the Lord at all times, whether those times be happy or hard.  God delights in blessing the faithful, yet all will face affliction at times. Even then we can trust in Jesus’ promise, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

In Psalm 37, David describes God’s faithfulness to all who trust in Him.  If we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.

Psalm 37 (NKJV)
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

In Psalm 34, David exemplifies what it means to praise and bless the Lord at all times, even when threatened or afflicted.  Then in verses 19 and 20 he provides a prophetic picture of the coming Messiah, who suffered and died for us.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Psalm 34 (NKJV)
 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.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.

21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

In Psalm 73, Asaph struggles with seeing how sometimes the wicked prosper and the righteous go through great trials.  Finally, God shows him the glorious future of the faithful and the future desolation of the wicked.  Then like David in Psalm 34, he rises up with praise and thanksgiving to our faithful God.

Psalm 73 (NKJV)
Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.
18 
Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.

22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

In Matthew 5, Jesus spoke many encouraging words for those going through hard times, pointing to the glorious future awaiting to those who keep the faith.

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In John 16:33, after telling the disciples of his coming death and ascension to the Father, Jesus concludes with these words of encouragement: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”   

We can bless the Lord at all times, knowing that the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us!  (Romans 8:11)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/  1/29/2017


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