What sentiment will fill our hearts this holiday season – hope, despair, love, greed, joy, sadness, peace, chaos? In all likelihood, we will face a smattering of each. No matter what the next month holds, we are not alone this season. God knows and understands our hearts. He wants to speak to each of us through His Word. He longs for us to praise Him and give Him thanks.
Take a moment to thumb through some of the Psalms. Do you notice the connection? The Psalmists, who eloquently penned their varied emotions and conflicting thoughts, were normal people like you and me.
We can easily identify with the Psalms whether we are in a time of trepidation or appreciation, whether we are involved in lamenting or thanksgiving, whether praying for help, healing, or crying out for justice.
In the final portion of the book known as the Hallelujah Psalms, chapter 146 calls for an act of worship – “Praise ye the Lord!” No matter our circumstances, our economic levels, our social standings, our educational backgrounds, or anything else, we are to praise the Lord!
The Psalmist said he would do so while he lived and while he had his being (v. 2); he decided he would worship even before he knew what would befall him. This confident expression exhibited his hope in the Lord, his God (v. 5).
Each day we have the opportunity to experience hope that comes only from our Creator. He is the One who remains faithful throughout time (v. 6), executes justice and brings freedom (v. 7), and shows compassion for all of us in need (v. 7-9).
Let us spend time in God’s Word and find true hope in the midst of the world’s despair. Let us spend time this holiday season giving Him thanks for who He is and expressing our gratitude for what He has done for us!
Prayer for the day:
Father God, allow Your Word to speak to me today. You alone are the One worthy of praise and deserving of thanks. Take my eyes off my individual problems and desires and focus them on Your righteousness and will for my life. Thank You that Your ways and thoughts are higher than mine (Is. 55:9) and that Your plans are for my welfare. Truly, You are my future and my hope. (Jer. 29:11) I give You thanks! “Praise ye the Lord!” - Amen.