Are you finding it hard to praise God right now?
Maybe things haven’t been going your way—not for a while.
Work has been challenging, and your future at that company is still being determined. You’re struggling with your kids’ behavior and unsure of what to do about it. Things haven’t been the same with your husband or wife, and you don’t know how to reignite that first love. Your health is declining, and you’re scared for the future. And let’s not even talk about how society is doing.
People think praising God is easy when life is going well, but when life is comfortable, you begin to take it for granted and forget about God. We call out to God in times of trouble. But do you praise Him at those times? Do you still have reason to?
According to King David, if you had no other reason to praise God, you still have this one:
My lips will glorify you
because your faithful love is better than life.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
at your name, I will lift up my hands (Ps 63:3, emphasis added).
David had fled from his son Absalom, deep into the wilderness (cf. 2 Sam 15:13-31; 17:16). Beneath the open sky, he remembered what it was to worship God in the sanctuary and to see His power and glory (v 2). David was thirsty for more of God. He longed for “a new unveiling of the Lord in splendor and might. Some call it the beatific vision—this view of God in His divine glory” (MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 644).
Despite or because of that time of self-exile, David eagerly sought the Lord (v 1). Even though he had no priest, altar, or tabernacle, he knew he could praise the Lord then and there—by lifting his hands and praising Him with his lips. David could praise the Lord wherever he was (cf. John 4:21-24). And he did.
But did he have a good reason to?
Yes! The very best of reasons!
Yes, David was exiled. Yes, his son was against him, his enemies were on the hunt, and life as a political refugee was highly precarious. And yet, David focused on God’s “faithful love.” That was something he could depend upon forever and was better than anything else he could have—better than life itself.
Because God loved him, David had all the reasons he could need to praise God.
If you’re going through your own experience of exile and finding it hard to praise God, remember that you have the very same reason that David did to life your hands in worship. God loves you with faithful love, and nothing can separate you from it. As Paul said:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39).
Are you finding it hard to praise God?
Then praise Him, not because your life is good, but because His love is better than life.
Send your questions or comments to Shawn.