Sustained Praise

Published on Mar 25th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Sustained Praise

Sustained Praise

David proclaims in Psalm 34, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth”.  He then goes on to exhort people to join him in this praise.  I was wondering how our hearts and minds are moved to such praise?  Praise that is so overwhelming that we believe we will never stop praising.  Praise that is so great that we need others to join us because our praise alone is just not enough.  I also found myself asking if that kind of praise is just spontaneous, is it based on a blessing that God has recently given, or is that kind of praise a choice?  I quickly dismissed the idea of that kind of choice being spontaneous because that would rely way too much on my emotions.  Emotional responses are rarely sustainable and they would not pass the test of being continually in my mouth.  I then spent some time on the idea of this kind of praise being a result of a blessing that God had recently given.  This fit the Psalm a little better but seems too shallow an answer for all that David says in the Psalm.  You will have to read it for yourself to fully decide.  That left the last option…this kind of praise is a choice. As you read the Psalm, I believe you will see that David is making his choice to be involved in sustained praise due to two truths.

The first truth is the awesomeness of God.  As you read through the Psalm you read of God’s hearing David, being near, answering of prayer, changing people.  You read how he saves out of all troubles, he is big enough to take refuge in, he provides, he rewards, he delivers, he sees, he redeems…it is an amazing display of a God who loves his people and rescues them.  It is as if once David chooses to start meditating on who God is and what he has done…those thoughts lead to other thoughts which lead to other thoughts and they become so great that he needs others to magnify the Lord with him so that many will see the awesomeness of God. This may seem like basic Christianity but how many times do you find yourself reading Scripture or worshiping in church and making it more about you and what God has promised to do or give you and less about him?  How often do we take time to hear the truths from Scripture about our God and allow them to wash over us so that our hearts are overwhelmed? Try it today.  Choose an attribute of God.  Find multiple Scriptures that speak of that attribute. Meditate on him from those Scriptures.  Allow the greatness of God to wash over you until you find you need others to join you because his glory is too great.

But there is another truth that David is thinking of as he writes this Psalm.  This Psalm was written in the aftermath (we are not sure how long afterwards) of one of David’s greatest humiliations.  In I Sam 21:1-15, we find David on the run and behind enemy lines.  He is quickly recognized as the great warrior, David.  Afraid for his life, he acted like a madman, scratching doors, spit in his beard, and total humiliation.  His tactics worked and the King dismissed him.  What a far cry from the courageous young man who stood before Goliath.  Yet, as David looks back over his self-reliant tactics and how far he had fallen, he realizes that God still delivered him.  God in his grace and mercy sustained him when he stood for God before Goliath and God in his grace and mercy sustained him when he faked insanity before the enemy of God.  What an amazing God who loves us in spite of ourselves.  How about it? Even though you may have not said it out loud, has your grace waned just a little because you have forgotten just how lost you were?  Is your praise alone enough because you have lost sight of your best efforts without God?  David remembered.  His humiliation was an opportunity for God to show his great love and that remembering brought praise that came from the depths of David’s soul.

Both truths are needed for sustained praise.  We were in a miry pit.  No hope.  No way to rescue ourselves.  All of our efforts to save ourselves were spiritual insanity.  But we have an awesome God who delivered us from our woeful selves.  He came and lived among us and died in our place so that we could be rescued from sin.  He loved us first.  Preach the gospel to yourself every day.  Preach the whole gospel.

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