Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Praise. Of David.
1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you,
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall laud your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Psalm 145 is a wonderfully majestic hymn of praise. I encourage you to slow down and meditate on each line of the Psalm. The psalmist expresses deep gratitude in praise of God: God’s greatness, God’s creative power, God’s goodness, and God’s grace, mercy, and love.
The second verse says, “Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.” The apostle Paul wrote, “Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Notice that Paul doesn’t say “Give thanks for every situation.” That would be just plain weird. But, it is possible to give thanks in every situation.
Continuous praise and thanksgiving is more than words, it is a way of seeing and being in the world.
Henry Ward Beecher had a beautiful way of putting it:
“If one should give me a dish of sand and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it, and how would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction. The Unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour, some heavenly blessings…only the iron in God’s sand is gold.” (https://citatis.com/a21298/261c0c/)
Helen Keller was a remarkable example of living life in this way. She was deaf and blind and yet she never ceased giving God thanks for the gift of life. Out of her gratitude, she devoted her life to assisting those who shared her disabilities. She toured the world promoting the education of both deaf and blind persons. She said, “For three things I thank God every day of my life,” said Helen Keller. “Thanks that He has given me knowledge of His works; deep thanks that He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to–a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
If a woman who spent her life in silence and darkness could find blessing for which to be grateful, then couldn’t we?
The concluding verse sings of God’s mercy, grace, and love: “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” For that, we give thanks.
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
Praise to the Lord, oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster