Praise and Rejoicing Rather Than Negativity

My current Bible-reading schedule had me in Psalm 33 and 34 the last few days.  And some of the verses really got me thinking.

Psalm 33:1 says, “Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.” (ESV)

Psalm 34:1-3 says, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (ESV)

I would love to be writing a post right now explaining how I have come to a place in my life where this is true of me.  In reality, I am writing out of conviction.  It’s amazing how God’s word truly is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV)  In this case, as I read God’s word, I felt the reproof and correction of God in my life.

The word tells us that “praise befits the upright;” in other words, if we are following God, praise is fitting for our lives.  Why shouldn’t we be in a state of praise?  We have access to God through Jesus Christ.  We have forgiveness of sins and abundant life through Christ’s death and resurrection.  We have the indwelling Spirit to transform us and walk with us through this life. And we have the promise of being with God for all eternity.  Praise befits us, not grumbling and complaining.  Unfortunately, there has been more of the latter in my life recently.

In reality, I should be “bless[ing] the LORD at all times.”  The praise of God should “continually be in my mouth.”  The praise of God cannot be continually in my mouth if my mouth is filled with complaints.  I have to make a concentrated effort to ensure that praise is coming from my mouth rather than negativity.  This will require the grace of God in my life, as I cannot do this on my own.

Realizing what my problem is is a lot easier than correcting it.  I know I should be praising God and rejoicing always.  But apart from God’s working in me, I will fail miserably at it.

I think I need to take up the discipline of celebration, actively finding things to celebrate and rejoice in.  Only by retraining myself to speak positively, praising God and rejoicing in everything with thanksgiving (see Philippians 4:4-6), will I be able to live out the message of those psalms.

I want to end this post by encouraging you to join me, as David did us as the readers and hearers of the psalm, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!”

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