But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to the God who gives me life.
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-my savior and my God”! Life is full of changing seasons. Just as summer changes to fall, and fall changes to winter, so our lives can turn in an instant. Our doubt and discouragement might linger for a while, but even in our bleakest days, we can be assured that spring is just around the corner, and we can be thankful that God’s mercies are new every day!
The reasons for our heavy hearts are very real, but so is our greatest Hope! God promises that He will lead us through our darkest valleys and lift us to the mountaintops if we will seek Him and trust Him.
Read Psalm 42 and reflect on a time that you might have been in the same situation as the Psalmist. Where or who did you turn to with your heavy heart?
- Let God know that you desire to be in His Presence.
- Thank Him that your discouragement, your doubts, and your honesty will not push Him away, but in fact, draw you closer to Him
- Give thanks for the Holy Spirit that enables His presence to fill you up and bring you life and joy
- Identify a friend that you are thankful for. Reach out to that friend and celebrate God’s goodness and mercies together!
My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know. God is on my side. I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised
Have you ever felt pushed around? It’s like every corner you turn, you are faced with opposition, conflict, or heartache. It’s in these times we need to remember our fight is not against “flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) No matter how mature of a Christian we are, our enemy will always be harassing us. The way to deflect the enemy and stand firm in our faith is to put your total trust in the Life-Giver, live in persistent fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and give thanks for His promises.
Living in fellowship with the Spirit takes intentional effort and giving thanks sometimes even more effort. A life lived in fellowship with the Spirit is evident not only to those around you, but to the enemy as well. When the enemy recognizes your commitment to stand firm in God’s statutes and promises, you have no reason to be afraid.
Reflect and Respond
- What do you do that keeps you in fellowship with the Holy Spirit
- Is the music you listen to and the things you watch on tv pleasing to God
- Do your interactions with others reflect the desires of God’s heart
- Do your words, service, and actions reflect a thankfulness for the love you have received from Jesus
- What does a sacrifice of thanks look like to you (vs 12)?
- How might you be intentional in living a life that fulfills your commitment to God?
Psalms 150:1-6 NLT
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
And yes! There is a time for quiet reflection! But God’s greatest joy is found in our praise! We praise Him for what He has done and continues to do – his creation, his blessings, his forgiveness – but we also praise him for who he is – loving, just, faithful, forgiving, patient, compassionate, and merciful.
Our genuine, heart-felt worship should include every part of us – our spirit, our soul, and our body! Worship and praise should take our mind off of us and focus our hearts on God!
Jesus made it clear that if we don’t praise Him with loud voices, the rocks and stones surely would! Would we rather let a rock praise God or give God the praise He deserves?
God’s attributes, blessings, and mercies are never ending and are intimately entwined in our everyday lives.
- Make your own list of reasons to be thankful and praise God!
- Let yourself go and give Him the BIG AND LOUD PRAISE that He deserves!
Psalms 69:29-34 NKJV
But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull, which has horns and hooves. The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. For the Lord hears the poor, and does not despise His prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.
In Matthew 5:3, Jesus tells us that those who are poor in spirit and realize their need for Him, will be blessed with the Kingdom of Heaven.
Being blessed with the Kingdom of Heaven means to experience joy and hope regardless of our circumstances. It means abundant life here on earth and in heaven. It means we don’t have to qualify with perfection, because we are made perfect (holy) through the sacrifice that Jesus made in love for us all. “But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins; good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:12-14).
When Jesus died for our sins, he made us perfect in God’s eyes. And even though our situations in life may not be perfect, we can be thankful that we can turn to Jesus. We can be thankful of the sacrifice that Jesus made to cover our sins and the ability He gave us to forgive others. We can praise Him because He blesses us with His Spirit, that comforts us, justifies us, and helps us to become more like Him. We are thankful because we can step into His wonderful, unfailing Presence and be assured that His mercy will fill us and redeem us from our own failings and the failings of others that surround us.
Read Psalm 69
Reflect on your own troubles and write them down.
- How can this Psalm help you assess and take on those troubles in a better way?
- What are the references to Jesus and His suffering in this Psalm?
- How might realizing your need for Jesus lead you to blessing and thanksgiving?