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!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Imagine being at work and having the worst day of your life. Nothing you do is working out, and your boss seems to be losing his patience with you. You seem to have destroyed the copier, broken the coffee maker and locked up the computer server. Now, he calls you into his office, and you’re certain it’s not to talk about a raise. As you approach his door, you’re probably thinking, “Thank you, Lord, for all of today’s problems!”
Really? Probably not, right? But both of today’s scriptures point us in that direction. “I will bless the Lord at all times,” Psalm 34 says, and “all” doesn’t mean “some.” It means that no matter what happens, we are supposed to praise God. And James, who was the brother of Jesus, tells us to “Count it all joy … when you meet trials of various kinds.” That means that in spite of the problems that come our way, we are to never let the Lord’s joy slip away from us. James goes on to say that when our faith is tested that it will result in “steadfastness,” or endurance. That endurance is what leads to us becoming more complete Christians.
Today, try to look at any problems you have as special opportunities to praise the Lord. It’s easy to keep His praise in your mouth when times are good, but the trials He allows are chances for us to exercise our faith when times are less than good.
Reflection copyright © 2017 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.