The Lord absolutely delights in the praise of His people. If you truly desire to draw closer to the Lord, worship Him! Of course, you should read your Bible and spend time in prayer as they are two additional legs of the table, but to have true strength and stability in your faith, you must have all three incorporated into your life. Prayer opens up discussion with God. His Word lets you get to know God (and yourself!). Praise is the vehicle by which we bless God and by which God, in return, blesses us. There is such a powerful, creative force in worship because the dynamic of a spiritual connection with the Most High God is something that touches His very heart. “Let the redeemed of the Lord speak out!” the Psalmist wrote. (Psalm 107:2)
Praise is always, always, always the right response going in, going through and going out of the wilderness.
Thanksgiving is the one thing God has asked for in return for all He has done- your praise means everything to Him! He has done more than you’ll ever know and is doing more now than you’ll ever realize and will do more than you’ll ever see– praise God!
This week I will be sharing an eye-opening series from Psalm 107 about four conditions of redemption God’s people experience throughout our lives and through this series you will see what you, yourself, have walked through and – I hope – your eyes will be awakened to remembrance and newness in how you praise and thank the Lord for what He has done for you!
Psalm 107:4-7 says, “They wandered in the wilderness on a deserted path; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them on a level road, that they might go to a city to live in. Let them praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the people! For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”
The wilderness is a place we have all walked through on the journey of faith. Those seasons when you feel completely depleted spiritually, emotionally and maybe even physically. Spiritually hungry, thirsty. Exhausted. Struggling to keep moving forward. Wondering if God sees, hears, knows. Attacked by the enemy on every side in your weakened condition, seeking a “city to dwell in” – a place to rest, recover, restore. Nothing seems to help. Have you ever been there? “Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them,” the Psalmist wrote. But then! ‘They cried unto the Lord in their trouble…”
“…He delivered them out of their distresses. He led them on a level road, that they might go to a city to live in…He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”
God is faithful through it all. The wilderness, the dry seasons? Those are just a part of life!! Can you imagine walking those difficult roads without the Lord at your side? Psalm 107:7 says that the Lord will straighten out the crooked roads where you stumbled and fell, where you had to jump over gaps and quicksand. He has a “city” for you to live in, a place where you can rest, recover and get restored in your spirit and soul. “This is my comfort in my affliction,” David wrote. “…for Your word revives me…Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my temporary dwelling.” (Psalm 119:50,54) You won’t be in this place forever, but while you’re in the “temporary dwelling”, either the wilderness or the place of respite the Lord has brought you- praise and worship Him! Worship is part of the plan of revival when God leads you from the wilderness, your comfort in affliction and a sign to the world of His goodness, mercy and love.
“Let them praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the people!”(Psalm 107:8) David wrote this, “…He turned to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet on a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; many will see it, and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3) The right response to every mighty act of God is worship! Your praise to the Lord is a testimony. It is a record-keeping. It is a reminder. It is a blessing to the Lord. Praise is always, always, always the right response going in, going through and going out of the wilderness. Your weakness will become His strength. Your sadness will become His joy. Your wounds will become His healing.
And your wilderness?? He has a plan for that too! Don’t look back and curse the dry places- Look what the Lord has done!! “He turns a wilderness into pools of water, a parched ground into springs of water. There He makes the hungry dwell, and they prepare a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards, and yield a fruitful harvest.” (Psalm 107:35-38)