There is no question that we live in uncertain times. Times of fear and anxiety. The news often seems troublesome from all directions, but during the difficult times of his life, David fled to the one and only safety where he took a comfort. Do you know what safety that was?
Psalm 32:7 says : “Thou art my hiding place, thou shalt preserve me from trouble, thou shall compass me about with songs of deliverance.”
David was a man of faith; he knew that he would be delivered and that the Lord would be with Him. He had unshakable faith and I wonder how we can get a faith such as his was? Imagine a day when Christians are being increasingly marginalized. They are not yet being physically persecuted, but everywhere they turn, they are being insulted. They are maligned and regularly slandered. Among the influential, Christianity is not trending, if anything, Christianity is being increasingly blamed for various problems perceived in society. David had often been running for his life and hiding from Saul and later on from his own son Absalom. But above all things he hid in the most High God through faith. His afflictions were many but despite his persecution he had praise and trust in the Lord.
In Psalm 34:1 he quotes: “ Bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Why “at all times”? Because there are times when praising the Lord might seem unusual, or at least unexpected – times when we assume praise might cease. When would that be? Hard times. Afflictions.
Yet David, having come through an affliction (The scripture notes the time his life was under threat among the Philistines in 1. Sam 21:10-15 ) he says “ I will bless the Lord at all times.” Not just in the good times, when praise is easy. Not just when all seems right with the world. Not just those times, but at all times.
When under threat, when it’s hard, when it’s uncertain, when it’s painful, when I am sick, when I am betrayed, when I’m impatient and I just want the pandemic to be over with and get back to normal life and it drags on and on. Then – at that moment – in the downs of life, in the trials, in the pain, in afflictions, there’s the all times David is talking about.
His praise shall be in our mouth. Is it in yours? Are we seeing through the eyes of faith that the various trials that grieve us now (1. Peter 1:6) are small in relation to eternity and that those that endure to the end shall be saved?
Are you looking for the pinks and the lilies and leaving the thorns behind? It will help you if you do, for dwelling upon the dreadful past, or dwelling upon the seemingly dreadful future is not going to give us hope but will instead bring us down.
In Psalm 34 8: David is actually exuberantly boiling over when he says “O, taste and see, that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” David is reporting on his total trust and faith of the Lord’s goodness.
God is not just magnified in our words, and our lives, when we simply report the truth, as He is when we rejoice in Him.
When we are glad in Him, rejoicing always about Him, about His faithfulness, about His goodness, and about His promises. When we celebrate Him and His goodness to us, and His goodness to all who look to Him and fear Him, seek Him and take refuge and a hiding place in Him.
“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1. Thes.5:16-18