Psalm 117:1-2 – Praise the Lord, all you nations! Extol him, all you peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (NRSV)
Recently my oldest son was going through a personal struggle. As I awoke slowly from a restless night, my first thought was that the new day did not seem too welcoming. But I have learned that the promises of God's Word are faithful and true. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23) "Thanks be to God," I found on my lips in the midst of this newest conflict. I was being obedient to his commandment, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Once again, my spiritual furniture took a tumble. But, once again, I countered, "Lord, if You are for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) Then I prayed, "What am I to learn from this?"
As it has turned out, I was to learn to trust God. My son has now spoken to me about a fresh encounter with God. Today he is a new man, touched by God. Praise God! My giving thanks in advance was the right thing to do. Now I can't think of anything being enough to thank God!
When our vision is strained, when God's hand seems unreachable, and new obstacles surround us, we can still say, "Blest be the day before us." Although our hearts are troubled, let us praise the Lord because he loves us.
Psalm 118:18-20 – The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. (NRSV)
Prayer: Lord, although we often come to you with heavy hearts, we thank you that we still have your love when we find life unbearable. We know that, when we praise you, we will make it through another day. Amen.