I am re-posting this from 2016. In searching for readings to share at a local nursing home I found this in my saved material.
This is the month we observe the holiday known as Thanksgiving. The pilgrims decided to give thanks to God for bringing them to the New World. But the Bible has numerous passages that speak of His people giving thanks to God as well.
As I searched through the Psalms for a comforting scripture, my eyes scanned Psalm 34.
I will extol the LORD at all times, his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; Let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:1-3
David wrote these words. He had kept Abimelech from killing him. The shepherd-king acted as if he were insane. (I Samuel 21:31) God spared his life.
In this three-verse passage, I identify five words and one phrase used for the word praise.
I will extol the LORD at all times. . .”
He tells us he will highly praise God, even in the tough times. Could this mean we are to follow his example and praise God highly, whatever the conditions?
“. . . his praise will always be on my lips.”
In these few words, David confirms that he intends to praise God ALWAYS. When a person states an action and restates it right away, that person means what he or she says. Have we forsaken the value of praising God?
“My soul will boast in the LORD.”
David doesn’t say, I will brag on the LORD when He does something good for him. He praises God even in the bad times. One of my favorite Gospel songs tells me to remember “God of the mountain is still God in the valley, in good times and the bad.”(1)
God performs many acts that, as humans, we tend to take for granted. A roof over our heads, Central heating, Keeping us safe when we travel, Healthy family members, Positive Life experiences, all these are gifts from God.
“Let the afflicted hear and rejoice,”
In our society, we see people who once were active cannot do as they once did. David asks God to let those dealing with diseases, illnesses, and disorders give praise to the LORD.
“Glorify the LORD with me. . . ”
Our purpose on this earth is to bring glory to the LORD. We do this in various ways. Seeking His guidance, praying for another person, coming together for worship, Sharing scripture, Inviting Him into our days.
“. . . let us exalt his name together”
I find this phrase interesting. David invites those who will read this down through the ages to corporately lift the name of Jesus up. Do we ask others to help pray for a special need? Do we ask friends to pray for us when we face trying circumstances?
As we this season of Thanksgiving, let us all take the time each day to find something for which to thank God.
(1.)”God of the Mountain” written by Lynda Randle