“How the king rejoices in Your strength, O Lord!
He shouts with joy because You give him victory.
For You have given him his heart’s desire;
You have withheld nothing he requested.
For the king trusts in the Lord.
The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.”
Psalms 21:1-2, 7 NLT
David the King is full of the joys of life. He has obviously successfully completed a battle or some other significant exploit, and he is giving God all the praise and thanks he can muster. The last verse in this Psalm points out the reason for his exuberant praise – it is because he trusts in God and His unfailing love, for his success. A short Psalm but what does it teach us for life today?
There is nothing more exciting than when God answers our prayers and helps us overcome a problem or succeed in a difficult task. When we can attribute a healing to God’s divine intervention. Or when we see God bring about a successful conclusion to an injustice or social need. And at such times we praise and thank Him for His wonderful works. We thank Him for all He has done. We may even stand up in a church service and give a testimony about what the Lord has done for us. But what about those times when we pray and pray about something, perhaps because of a sickness being experienced by a loved one, or over an unexpected bill, and there is no response from the Heavenly Throne? I think we all agree that it is much more difficult to praise and thank God then.
As we read David’s Psalms, we often find him ranting about his problems, only to find that soon afterwards he is once again in that place of worship before His God. That’s the key we need in this life. Sometimes God will answer prayers of healing and other worthy petitions, but often He doesn’t. Now I’m a firm believer in the thought that God answers all prayers with a “Yes”, “No” or a “Not Yet”. Unlike Him, we don’t see the end from the beginning. But that isn’t to say we shouldn’t pray anyway. And pray fervently, as it says in James 5:16b, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” And pray with the faith that God is listening to our prayers and will answer them in the way that is best for us.
So we praise and thank God all the time. In the good times. In the not so good times as well. There is always something that we must thank Him for.