Whenever I read the Psalms, I’m surprised at how often David praised God. As a great king and warrior, he had many reasons to feel joyful. However, through his own wrong-doings and outside threats, David had every reason to feel sorrowful and anxious.
Instead of turning away from God, David poured our his heart to Him in the Psalms. He is transparent and vulnerable before God; his status as a king doesn’t alter his perception of God. David’s attitude of praise, even though times of pain, is inspiring and enlightening. Even when he afraid, doubtful and depressed, David fixed his eyes on God. He conversed with God. God knows everything about David and us, so it seems pointless to open our heart to him. The thing is, a relationship works best when communication comes from both sides. He knew this and throughout the Psalms, he spoke words of truth into existence. David worshiped God as the true King over everything on this earth (Psalm 22:28). He rejoiced because of God’s faithful love (Psalm 13:5); and he found pleasure and joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11). David didn’t praise for the sake of praising or compose beautiful music for fun. By glorying God and proclaiming all that He is, He submitted his situation to God. He chose to focus on God’s unwavering nature, and he committed himself to a lifestyle of praise. David’s act of worship and careful choice of words was medicine for the soul, and most fundamentally, an expression of his faith and trust in God.
I’ve realised that my choice of words, especially during a tough time, are crucial. Words have significant power, and I want the things I say to change the atmosphere around me. I’m learning that when I go through a challenging situation, sharing it with God is the second step. The first step is about praising and thanking Him. Sometimes, when things fall apart around us, it’s easy to believe we have nothing worth giving thanks or praise for. This isn’t true. I know when life is painful, I can still give thanks, and I can still give praise, because I have a creator who loves me deeply; I have a God who sacrificed His life for me, and I believe in a God who knows my future. Through seasons of pain and darkness, I know that God has me in the palms of His hands, and I’ll praise Him because I know He is with me.
As you praise God with a thankful heart, I pray that you overflow with so much joy. Amen.