I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 145
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, 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: thanks that he has vouchsafed 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.” (https://www.azquotes.com/quote/344368)
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.
Hymn: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
by Joachim Neander (1680); sts. 1, 3, 5 trans. By Catherine Winkworth (1863), st. 2 by S. Paul Schilling (1986); st. 4 by Rupert E. Davies (1983)
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is your health and salvation!
Come, all who hear; now to his temple draw near,
join me in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, above all things so wondrously reigning;
sheltering you under his wings, and so gently sustaining!
Have you not seen all that is needful has been
sent by his gracious ordaining?
Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
if with his love he befriends you.
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him.
Let the Amen sound from his people again;
gladly forever adore him.
Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture. I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster