Remembering the character of God and the wonderful things he has done moves us to praise and thank our great God for who he is and what he has done. This series of devotions have been written by Sarah Condie to encourage you to ponder the loving deeds of the Lord, so that songs of joy and thankfulness bubble forth from within you. Some devotions will focus on small but significant habits, while others will focus on the character of God.
At the end of each devotion and prayer, Sarah has provided a link to a song. Everyone’s taste in music is unique, so please, if you don’t like her choices, choose songs that you love.
1Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
2For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord.
I am a fan of Antique Roadshow. I love watching someone find out that something buried in their attic gathering dust and cobwebs for decades is worth 10,000 pounds. And then hearing them say, ‘lovely’, or ‘how marvellous’.
The Brits have mastered the art of understatement. Surely this treasure deserves a more enthusiastic response!
Psalm 117 might appear to be a somewhat understated cry of praise to the Lord. It’s so short and bereft of padding.
Yet it provides a reason for responding to God with praise: our God’s love for us is immeasurable, and his faithfulness is unending. In a few words, the Psalmist has unlocked the buried treasure of God’s character and why he is worthy of our praise — truths that evoke more than a ‘lovely’ or ‘how marvellous’.
You may be feeling unloved, or a bit ‘blah’, and think that lukewarm is about as warm as you can manage. Let me encourage you to read Psalm 117 out loud. In brief compass you will express your thanks and praise to the Lord who is worthy, despite how you feel.
I wonder if the restrained words that so often emerge on Antique Roadshow might mark the beginning of a transformation in the people with newly discovered dusty treasures. As they go home, they might clean the object and look at it with fresh eyes. Most likely they will tell their family and friends and spend time marvelling that something so precious has lain invisible for so long in their attic or cupboard.
Pondering our treasure trove of grace can warm our hearts. Why not recall the ways that God has shown his love and faithfulness towards you? Write them down in a small notebook to help you remember. And maybe you’ll feel compelled to talk about it — to family, friends, work colleagues.
And perhaps, as those who have tasted of his goodness, his love, and his kindness through his Son, Jesus, our response will move beyond a lukewarm, ‘how lovely’. May we find a joy and gladness that moves our hearts, minds, mouths and bodies with such enthusiasm that anyone looking at us knows that we are people who treasure our God.
Let’s use Psalm 117 to pray:
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
And the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord! Amen.
Song: A Thousand Hallelujahs by Brooke Ligertwood
This series of devotions was written for and first published by The Bible Society Australia.