“May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore ‘God is Great!’
But…I am poor and needy; hasten to me O God! You are my help and deliverer; O Lord do not delay!
For you are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb….Do not cast me off in the time of my old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent…those who watch for my life consult together and say ‘God has forsaken him—pursue and seize him for there is none to deliver him…” (Excerpts from Ps 70:4-5 and Ps 71:5-11)
“My mouth is filled with your praise and with your glory all the day. (Ps 71:8)
Christians are faced with a dichotomy every day: Remembering that God is Good but our days can be not so good to downright bad. Are the bad things to be ignored in some sort of “positive thinking” exercise?
Quickly now and read: the above question is a resounding NO if I want to be a card carrying Disciple of Christ.
Why is that? God is Good, isn’t He? God is love and He loves me, right? Romans 8:28 says that “..all things work together for good…”, right? Shouldn’t I expect good all my days?
It all depends on how “Good” is defined from God’s POV. So what is Good from His POV?
Good from my POV is peace. Also lack of conflict, leisure, comfortableness, freedom to do what I want to do without challenge, and financial stability. There is also satisfaction of (fill in the blank here as many things as can be thought of), being thought very well of, having the Rays win the World Series…and so many more things. Oh, yeah: I don’t want to forget having God as a genie providing all my wants—oops, my needs (although I get to define my needs, right?)…
Good from God’s POV? Scripture is succinct and clear: “For those He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Ro 8:29)
To be conformed is describing a process of change—and it is something both to experience AND to long for.
David is writing about two things in these Psalms: 1) He is keeping his head on straight about who deserves all the adulations I can generate in my mind, heart, and most importantly, my mouth. David also recognizes that bad things happen and need to be shouted out to God—without diminishing or lowering any volume of praise because of the bad things.
What is the summary here? God should be and deserves all adoration because of who He is and what He has done at the Cross. Heaven knows I didn’t and don’t deserve it. Besides, because He didn’t buy me a Mercedes Benz, should I tone down my praise until He does?
Almighty God: Forgive me every moment I diminish You in my sight. I continually construct a favorable outcome of what my next steps ought to be and what the results of any effort of mine would be satisfactory in my sight.
What a knucklehead I can be—thinking that any plans I have or can concoct for my life would be better than any plan You have. Help me to surrender to You. AMEN.