Bless the Lord at ALL TIMES

Psalms 34:1-3 ESV

“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!”

So, when this says that I will bless the Lord at ALL TIMES, that includes the bad times, too, when things are not going so well, and when everything looks grim or without hope of ever changing. For we all go through STUFF, don’t we? I mean no one has a perfect life, though some people definitely have it better or worse than others. So, we need to learn to praise the Lord in the bad times as well as in the good times.

And we should not be grumblers and complainers who just go around mumbling, “Woe is me.” But we need to be those who rise above our circumstances and who are able to find the good even in the worst of circumstances, for God can bring good out of what seems to be a disaster, can’t he? He can turn darkness into light. And he can supply a rainbow after a storm. For he allows the storms of our lives to work good in us.

Psalms 34:4-5 ESV

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.”

I love this passage of Scripture! I grew up in a home as a child with an extremely abusive father who took advantage of and who beat up on those who were weaker than him, and just because he could. When the physical abuse stopped, the verbal abuse just got worse and that never stopped, well until his final days on this earth, and he lived 86 years. My father was the epitome of Satan to me, and I feared him most of my life while he lived.

But one day I called on God to deliver me from those fears, and he did miraculously, but I still had to put into practice in my daily life to not return to living in fear but to walking in faith. Whenever Satan tries to get me to be afraid I have to tell him “No!” and I have to choose to walk by faith and to trust in the sovereignty of God over my life. I have to reaffirm my faith in God’s absolute control over my life and that I have no cause ever to fear.

And when we do that, when we choose to walk by faith and to trust in God’s sovereignty over our lives, and to not give way to fear, it brings peace to our souls and sunshine to our faces. We can walk with the joy of the Lord in our hearts even in the midst of terrible storms raging all around us. And that is because we don’t let the storms overtake us but by the grace of God we become overcomers and we let the Lord rule our hearts, not fear.

Psalms 34:6-7 ESV

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.”

So, instead of fearing other people and what they might do to us, or fearing our circumstances which may not be so good, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord, i.e. we are to give him honor and respect and our submission and obedience. We are to yield to his sovereignty over our lives and accept from him the bad times as well as the good, realizing he is working all things for good for us who love and obey him, and who have been called according to his purposes (see Rom 8:28).

And his purposes for us are that we yield control of our lives over to him, that we surrender our wills to him, and that we submit to his Lordship over our lives. His purpose in dying for us on that cross was not just to forgive us our sins so we could one day join him in heaven, but it was that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and that we might walk in obedience to his commands. And this is where we find peace.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-27; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Now, the following is a secular song, but it is the one the Lord Jesus put in my mind this morning, and it fits with this message here. And we can certainly replace the word “Sun” with “Son,” for it is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who brings joy to our hearts and who fills us with peace even in the midst of the storms in our lives. He is the one who can lift us out of depression and discouragement and put a smile on our faces even when it seems there is nothing to smile about. For he gives sunshine in our souls.

Here Comes the Sun

By George Harrison

Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s alright

Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darlin’, it feels like years since it’s been here
Little darlin’, the smile’s returning to their faces
Little darlin’, it seems like years since it’s been here
Little darlin’, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darlin’, it seems like years since it’s been clear

Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s alright

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