The Power of Praise
Let’s mine another gem from the Psalm that we read yesterday. As we saw in the first four verses of Psalm 13, David is pouring out his heart and being painfully honest about the hardships he had been experiencing. Evidently, things had been pretty tough. David is to the point where he’s even wondering if God had forgotten him. He’s wrestling with his thoughts and his heart is filled with sorrow. And to add insult to injury, his enemies are gloating over him and celebrating the possibility of his demise.
Then, in verse 5, the entire tone of the Psalm changes as David declares “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” David is making a faith declaration that, no matter how things may appear or even how he feels, he is trusting in the goodness of God. But then notice what he does next. He continues in verse 6, “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
David is making a choice to rejoice.
We all love those times in life when rejoicing comes naturally – celebrating a win, conquering that mountain, experiencing a great blessing. We can and should celebrate all the good things that come our way, but it shouldn’t stop there. Sometimes we celebrate by faith. When rejoicing doesn’t come naturally, it needs to come supernaturally. Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians, “Rejoice in the Lord always!”
I encourage you to pause right now. Think of something you can celebrate, and make a choice to rejoice.
Goodness and Trust
Even as God’s dearly loved children, we will all go through times of difficulty and hardship in this life. In the first four verses of Psalm 13, David is pouring out his heart and being painfully honest about the hardships he had been experiencing. Evidently, things had been pretty tough. David is to the point where he’s even wondering if God had forgotten him. He’s wrestling with his thoughts and his heart is filled with sorrow. To add insult to injury, his enemies are gloating over him and celebrating the possibility of his demise.
Then, in verse 5, the entire tone of the Psalm changes as David declares “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” David is making a faith declaration that, no matter how things may appear or even how he feels, he is choosing to put his trust in the goodness of God.
When we experience difficulties and trials, we need to keep coming back to what we know to be true about God. Experiences can be discouraging. Feelings can be deceiving. So we keep coming back to the truth of God’s word and what we know to be true about the character of God. David declares, by faith, “I trust in your unfailing love,” and “He has been good to me”.
What faith declaration do you need to make today? What truth about God’s character do you need to stand on? We may not always understand why we’re going through the difficulties we’re facing, but we can always know that God is good and will always work things out for our good.
Good, Good Father
Being confident of the goodness of God is essential to praying prayers of faith. For many, the image of God as a good Father is difficult to believe. For those who have had an earthly father who was detached or absent or even abusive, the goodness of God may be hard to accept. Jesus however, who knows the Father intimately, always spoke of God as a good Father. Our Heavenly Father is not abusive or absent or even inattentive. In fact, Jesus taught us that our Heavenly Father is perfect in every way. Imagine the most perfect father you could ever hope for and that’s what God is, only better.
How would being confident in the goodness of God change the way you pray?
If we see God as uncaring or unconcerned, we will pray weak prayers that are tainted by an unbiblical image of God. When we see God as good, we will pray with sincere confidence and faith, believing that we are praying to a good Father; a Father who is interested, a Father who is caring, a Father who is on our side.
All The Time
Most of us can manage to be good, at least for a while. Unlike us, God is always good. God never changes. We learn in the book of Hebrews that Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God’s character is unwavering and unchanging. He is the epitome of consistent. God is uber-faithful!
In His goodness, God never fails. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, who understood full well what it was like to suffer for being a Christian,
“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
To sum it all up, God is unwaveringly committed to His children and nothing can change that. Life changes. People change. Our circumstances change. We even change. But one thing that will never change is God’s love toward us. His goodness and love are as certain is the rising of the sun.
I encourage you, today, to take everything that may be coming against you and lay that at the feet of Jesus. Trust Him with every problem and thank Him for His consistent, unfailing goodness.
One of the beautiful word pictures the Bible employs to express the heart of God for His people is the picture of a good shepherd, lovingly caring for His sheep. Jesus uses that picture here of himself. In contrast to the devil – a thief who steals, destroys, and kills – Jesus, the good shepherd, comes to give life – a full life.
In John 10, Jesus gives some specific examples of His shepherd’s heart for the sheep.
· He knows the sheep personally and is known by them.
· He stays with them in the face of the attacking wolf.
· He calls His sheep by name.
· He lays down His life for the sheep.
What a good shepherd Jesus is! There is nothing He wouldn’t do for us. The entire purpose of Him being born into this world and dying on the cross was to save us from ourselves. He loves us that much! We can trust in His goodness. He is the good shepherd that is always leading, always guiding, always caring, and always guarding.