Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Psalm 145:2
When are we most likely to thank a friend? Usually it is when they have done something nice for us or helped us in some way. Now, think of the amount of time that passes when we don’t express our thanks for their friendship. Is there ever a good time not to give thanks or to offer praise?
The same could be asked of our thanks and praise to God. We are quick to praise Him for answers to prayer, deliverance through a difficult time, or an unexpected blessing. But those don’t happen every day. Are there reasons to praise God on the less-dramatic days of life? The psalms say, Yes! “Every day I will bless You” (Psalm 145:2, emphasis added). “His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1). If you can’t think of a specific reason to praise God, there is the example of Psalm 71:6: “By You I have been upheld from birth. … My praise shall be continually of You.”
From the beginning of our days, God sustains us with grace and mercy—reason for His praise to be continually on our lips.
The measure of our spirituality is the amount of praise and thanksgiving in our prayer. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Psalm 145:14-21 / Our God Who Is Near
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. Mark 10:51
A mouse with a shrill voice, Reepicheep is perhaps The Chronicles of Narnia’s most valiant character. He charged into battle swinging his tiny sword. He rejected fear as he prodded on the Dawn Treader toward the Island of Darkness. The secret to Reepicheep’s courage? He was deeply connected to his longing to get to Aslan’s country. “That is my heart’s desire,” he said. Reepicheep knew what he truly wanted, and this led him toward his king.
Bartimaeus, a blind man from Jericho, sat in his normal spot jingling his cup for coins when he heard Jesus and the crowd approaching. He yelled out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47). The crowd tried to silence him, but Bartimaeus couldn’t be stopped.
“Jesus stopped,” Mark says (v. 49). In the midst of the throng, Jesus wanted to hear Bartimaeus. “What do you want?” Jesus asked (v. 51).
The answer seemed obvious; surely Jesus knew. But He seemed to believe there was power in allowing Bartimaeus to express his deep desire. “I want to see,” Bartimaeus said (v. 51). And Jesus sent Bartimaeus home seeing colors, beauty, and the faces of friends for the first time.
Not all desires are met immediately (and desires must be transformed), but what’s essential here is how Bartimaeus knew his desire and took it to Jesus. If we’ll pay attention, we’ll notice that our true desires and longings always lead us to Him.
Reflect & Pray
What do you truly desire? How might this desire lead you to Jesus?
Jesus, help me to bring my desires to You. What I’m ultimately seeking can only be satisfied by what You alone can provide.
Are you satisfied with your prayer life? I don’t know too many people who would answer yes to that question, because most of us know that we fall short in this discipline. Even the most mature believers recognize their need for improvement, and one of the best methods for doing that is examining scriptural prayers and using them as a model.
Several of Paul’s prayers are recorded in his epistles, and they supply wonderful insights about different ways to pray. In today’s passage, we see two foundations for prayer.
A Humble Attitude. Paul’s physical posture of bending his knees served as a reminder of his submissive position before the heavenly Father. He knew there was nothing in himself that would cause the Lord to hear and respond. He had access to the throne of God only through his relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul did not make himself the center of the conversation but focused on the Lord and the church for whom he was interceding.
A Focus on God. The foundation of Paul’s prayer life was the Trinity. The apostle understood that God the Father adopts all believers worldwide into His family for eternity; that there are glorious riches found in God the Son; and that God the Holy Spirit has limitless power. The requests Paul made for the Ephesians were based on almighty God’s matchless abilities, resources, and power.
Although we can confidently approach the Lord’s throne of grace, we must always remember that we are but humble servants, and He is our exalted God.
And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.” (Psalm 55:6)
The 55th Psalm is a psalm of “complaint” (v. 2) by David and gives an insight into his thought process as he tried to deal with the great problems and burdens that were overwhelming him. His first instinct was to run away from them, flying like a dove far off into the wilderness.
The prophet Jonah (whose name means “dove”) tried that strategy years later, only to encounter even worse problems (Jonah 1:3, 15). One does not solve problems by fleeing from them.
Then, David decided to berate those who were causing him trouble and to complain about them to the Lord. “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). The words “pray, and cry aloud” here actually mean “complain and mourn.” “Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues” (v. 9). “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell” (v. 15). His burdens were all the heavier because those whom he had trusted as friends and colleagues were now using deceit and guile against him (vv. 11-14), and the injustice of it all was almost more than he could endure. But complaints and imprecations were also unsatisfying: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
Finally, the Lord gave him an answer, and David found the rest for which he had been so fretfully searching. Here it is: “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). The last phrase of the psalm is “but I will trust in thee” (v. 23).
The way to deal with burdens and problems is not to flee from them or to fret about them but to turn them over to the Lord: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). HMM
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.
—1 Corinthians 5:6-7
No sin is private. It may be secret but it is not private.
It is a great error to hold, as some do, that each man’s conduct is his own business unless his acts infringe on the rights of others. “My liberty ends where yours begins,” is true, but that is not all the truth. No one ever has the right to commit an evil act, no matter how secret. God wills that men should be free, but not that they be free to commit sin….
Coming still closer, we Christians should know that our unchristian conduct cannot be kept in our own backyard. The evil birds of sin fly far and influence many to their everlasting loss. The sin committed in the privacy of the home will have its effect in the assembly of the saints. The minister, the deacon, the teacher who yields to temptation in secret becomes a carrier of moral disease whether he knows it or not. The church will be worse because one member sins. The polluted stream flows out and on, growing wider and darker as it affects more and more persons day after day and year after year. SIZ074, 077
Lord, this is especially true of us who are leaders in the church. Show to me and my fellow servants this morning the horror of the consequences of our sin. Keep us pure and faithful, for Your glory. Amen.
He knowetb what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.—Daniel 2:22.
Take it on trust a little while,
Soon shalt thou read the mystery right
In the full sunshine of His smile.
God is too wise not to know all about us, and what is really best for us to be, and to have. And He is too good, not to desire our highest good; and too powerful, desiring, not to effect it. If, then, what He has appointed for us does not seem to us the best, or even to be good, our true course is to remember that He sees further than we do, and that we shall understand Him in time, when His plans have unfolded themselves; meanwhile casting all our care upon Him, since He careth for us.
Henry Parry Liddon.
To be out of harmony with the things, acts, and events, which God in His providence has seen fit to array around us—that is to say, not to meet them in a humble, believing, and thankful spirit-is to turn from God. And, on the other hand, to see in them the developments of God’s presence, and of the divine will, and to accept that will, is to turn in the Opposite direction, and to be in union with Him.
Thomas C. Upham.
“From this day will I bless you.” Haggai 2:19
Future things are hidden from us. Yet here is a glass in which we may see the unborn years. The Lord says, “From this day will I bless you.
It is worth while to note the day which is referred to in this promise. There had been failure of crops, blasting, and mildew, and all because of the people’s sin. Now, the Lord saw these chastened ones commencing to obey His word, and build His temple, and therefore He says, “From the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider. From this day will I bless you.” If we have lived in any sin, and the Spirit leads us to purge ourselves of it, we may reckon upon the blessing of the Lord. His smile, His Spirit, His grace, His fuller revelation of His truth will all prove to us an enlarged blessing. We may fall into greater Opposition from man because of our faithfulness, but we shall rise to closer dealings with the Lord our God, and a clearer sight of our acceptance in Him.
Lord, I am resolved to be more true to thee, and more exact in my following of thy doctrine and thy precept; and I pray thee, therefore, by Christ Jesus, to increase the blessedness of my daily life henceforth and for ever.