December 23, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:7
We do not have to reminisce very long to remember the many ways God has intervened in our lives to deliver us from those who would spitefully use us and bring conflict to our lives. Many times God has been our shield from the fiery darts of Satan that can inflict devastating results. Many of us can recall times when God saved us from death by His gracious protection and mercy.
We cannot read the psalms of David without being moved by his trials at the hand of Saul or driven from his throne by none other than his rebellious son Absalom. Throughout his psalms we hear the cry of David sounding forth for the God of his life, but we also hear the joy of his heart as he sings, "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength." Notice the various ways he experienced God interceding for him. "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from mine enemies" (Psalm 18:1-3).
In Psalm 103 David is so overcome with praise and thanksgiving he cannot find words to adequately praise God. He shouts with unhindered restraint with all his heart, "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Such jubilant praise and thanksgiving characterized his life and was the joy of his heart. His heart was inflamed with the love of God, His mercies and the unbounded kindness God had manifested to him.
Such exuberant praise should be the spontaneous response of our hearts as we contemplate the exceeding greatness of our God. As David, may we behold Him and cry out as he, "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom" [His greatness is inconceivable, beyond our comprehension] (Psalm 145:3).
I have a challenge for you. Think back in your life and see if you can apply David's words of praise to experiences where God has been your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your strength, the One in whom you trusted and took refuge, your shield, the horn of your salvation and your mighty stronghold! Write down your experience by each one of the words of praise. It will be a great blessing to your heart. Moses said unto Israel, "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands"(Deuteronomy 8:2). To remember all the way God has led us is a humbling and praiseworthy experience.
How soon we forget how gracious the Lord has been to us daily. We have reasons to rejoice far beyond any that David had. What he saw was under a veil, that which was promised to come. We have the incarnation of God's Son, His ministry and truth revealed, the Scriptures that foretell God's complete revelation, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us, the blessed hope of His coming again and the promises of His covenant to us whereby we may be partakers of the divine nature and so much more! May our hearts leap for joy with a new song of praise and thanksgiving continually. May we join together and raise humble hearts unto HIM and say, "Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name!"
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-23
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