13/08/07

Recipe for Rejoicing

Psalm 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving." This verse seems out of place here, because this Psalm 69 has an atmosphere of trial and sorrow. Six times we find the word reproach in Psalm 69. David cries out to God for help, so it's strange to find him saying, "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving." When you are sinking, when you think that everything has gone wrong, when others are persecuting you and smiting you, praise the name of God with a song.

Paul and Silas must have thought of verse 30 when they were suffering in jail in Philippi (see Acts 16:16-34). They were in the stocks. They had been humiliated and arrested. Their rights were taken from them. They had been beaten with rods, and their bodies ached. But they began to sing and praise God. The concert brought down the house, and the jailer was saved. When you find yourself sinking, start singing.

Magnify the Lord. When I hurt, I have a tendency to magnify myself. I think, Nobody ever felt the way I feel. Nobody's ever been through what I've been through. But David said, "I'm not going to do that. I'm going to magnify the Lord."

Thank the Lord. Anyone can thank Him when things are going well. Anyone can thank Him in the sunshine. But when you are sinking in the deep mire, it's difficult to give thanks to God, but we need to do so.

Here you have a threefold recipe for rejoicing when you are sinking: Praise the name of the Lord, seek to magnify Him and bring your thanksgiving from your heart.

Are you overwhelmed by your circumstances? Trust the Lord and follow this recipe. He will cause you to rejoice.

[ Reference Scriptures ]

Psalm 69:29-36 [NIV]
29 I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me. 30 I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. 32 The poor will see and be gladó you who seek God, may your hearts live! 33 The LORD hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, 35 for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; 36 the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.

Acts 16:16-34 [NIV]
16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.
19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 200They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God - he and his whole family.


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