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Bible Ballistics: BBs #673       Control Or Gratitude???


I will praise thee

with my whole heart:

before the gods

will I sing praise unto thee.

2 I will worship

toward thy holy temple,

and praise thy name

for thy lovingkindness

and for thy truth:

for thou hast magnified thy word

above all thy name.”   Psalms 138:1-2

I love the Psalms!  They are an amazing mixture of praise, distress, confusion, hope, joy and sorrow; and more than we can list here this morning.  I want us to look at this particular Psalm today, for we often need reminding that we are to be a people of praise and gratitude.  We all fail to recognize the import of gratitude—we want to control God—in fact we want to control almost everything much of the time—in our lives, and that as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ The Lord, we should ever be overflowing with praise and gratitude.

This is on my heart this morning for it has been a most difficult week for me, not only dealing with the continuing grief over the loss of my only daughter, but I also had a dear friend who was struggling with a very serious illness, and was alarmingly ill with, at times, what seemed like a hopeless situation.  Well, my friends, I tell you that the tears have flowed for days in prayers, in fear of the loss of my dear friend, in hope and faith in my God to heal—all these emotions, mixed with faith, hope and fear.  I know that many talk about fear being the antithesis of faith, but I think that sometimes (even though we don’t like to admit it) we can have both at the same time.  Much like the father of the demon-possessed child who came to Jesus for Him to heal the child—he believed that Jesus could heal his son, but he was afraid of another lost effort.  We are no different for if we are truly praying in faith, we are praying that “Thy Will Be Done”, and that is walking by faith through my fear.  Knowing that I serve the God Who Knows!

I have often prayed that same “Lord, help thou my unbelief”!  How about you?  Yet, God knows our frailty and humanity and when we come to HIM, we can trust to His care, His love, and His Word.  Even as the Psalmist said above, God honors HIS own Word.  He IS His Word! (See John 1:1-5).  As we continue on with the Psalm, let us consider Paul’s admonition for our need of gratitude.

Be careful for nothing;

but in every thing

by prayer and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known

unto God.

7 And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds

through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

Continue in prayer,

and watch in the same

with thanksgiving;”   Colossians 4:2

Oh, if we could simply realize the power of gratitude!  Even as the Psalmist said in verse one, “I will praise thee with my whole heart”!  Let’s peruse the rest of this Psalm—it’s so full of encouraging truth!  I pray that you and I will ponder these words and their import!

In the day when I cried

thou answeredst me,

and strengthenedst me

with strength in my soul.

4 All the kings of the earth

shall praise thee, O LORD,

when they hear the words of thy mouth.

5 Yea, they shall sing

in the ways of the LORD:

for great is the glory of the LORD.

6 Though the LORD be high,

yet hath he respect unto the lowly:

but the proud

he knoweth afar off.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,

thou wilt revive me:

thou shalt stretch forth thine hand

against the wrath of mine enemies,

and thy right hand

shall save me.

8 The LORD will perfect that

which concerneth me:

thy mercy, O LORD,

endureth for ever:

forsake not the works

of thine own hands.”  Psalm 138:3-8

And as my own eyes flowed with tears this week (and I might add, healing and comforting tears, as well as tears of earnest love and concern!) I know that God heard and answered our prayers, for many things, but especially for my friend who is doing much better.  And for that I will gladly praise and thank my LORD for hearing and answering my heart’s desire!  So, my question for us today is simply this, “Will you pursue gratitude or control?”  It’s your choice but choose wisely; there is a test!

Amen and Amen!