Enjoying The Lord in Difficult Situations

In 1791, John Wesley lay on his deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him realized how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance. Despite Wesley’s extreme weakness, he began singing the hymn, “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.& … More

Praise

Life was not easy for the Jewish remnant that returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon. Their neighbors were often hostile, the Persian officials were not always cooperative, and the economic situation was difficult. This psalm may have been written by one of the Levites to remind the people to put the Lord first and trust Him to meet every need. It seems the writer is giving us four instructions to follow if we are to enjoy the help and blessing of the Lord in life’s difficult situations:

  1. Begin with praise and worship (v. 1). If we can not rejoice in our circumstances, we can always rejoice in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). The writer is determined to praise God no matter what.
  2. Remember God’s great works (vv. 2-6). God’s people do not live in the past, but they know how to use the past to give them encouragement in the present and hope for the future. His works reveal His attributes, for like Him they are great (v. 2), glorious, majestic and righteous (v. 3), wonderful, gracious and compassionate (v. 4), powerful (v. 6), faithful, just and trustworthy (v. 7), and holy and awesome (v. 9).
  3. Rely on God’s Word (vv. 7-9). God gave His law to His people so that they might enjoy His blessings forever (v. 3), His covenants (vv. 5, 9), and His precepts (v. 7). God’s Word is trustworthy and we can rely on it.
  4. Obey His will (v. 10). The fear of the Lord is a topic mentioned frequently in Scripture. It is not the slavish fear of a criminal before a judge, but the loving and reverential fear of a child for his or her parents. Fearing the Lord leads to obeying the Lord, and obedience is important to spiritual understanding (John 7:17).
“The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them” (v. 2). We always have a keen interest in the activities of people we love. This means that it should be a natural thing for us to love and study the works of God and the word of God as we read and study the Word of God.

Application

The only way to become truly wise is to fear (reverence) God. If I do not acknowledge God as my source of wisdom my foundation for making wise decisions is shaky, and I will be prone to make mistakes and foolish choices which will not result in praising the Lord.

Psalms 111:1-10 (English Standard Version)


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