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1 Of David. Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children–
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul.
It seems there’s enough going down in the world and among Christians that good words are in order. It’s all I can do to keep my sea legs steady and try to love those around me constantly and selflessly (oxymoron). Anything that passes beyond that in terms of perfecting my spirituality is out of reach for me now.
This verse struck me the other day:
Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Elizabeth, while pregnant with John the Baptist, spoke these words to Mary, pregnant with baby Jesus. Elizabeth was Mary’s older relative. Both of these women had believed the promise of the Lord, and we see them here rejoicing and fellowshipping with each other.
Zechariah had received the same promise as his wife Elizabeth but had not believed. At this moment, he was struggling with being mute, a condition inflicted on him by the angel Gabriel, God’s messenger to Zechariah, for having questioned the promise by demanding proof, or a sign, as though the vision of the mighty Gabriel were not sign enough! He missed the joy of belief.
Another example of one whose disbelief led to misery was Thomas, who refused to believe that Christ had indeed risen from the dead, just as he had promised he would. (See John 20:19-31)
Zechariah the doubter RECEIVED what was promised, and Thomas the doubter RECEIVED what was promised. What they lost was the peace, comfort, and joy of anticipating the promise’s fulfillment, because they didn’t believe.
When God promises, the promise’s fulfillment is not based upon our belief–it’s based upon the nature and character of God.
God had promised a Savior to Abraham. As a whole, the nation did not believe, neither prior to the coming of Christ, nor when he came. God kept his word. The disbelief of the majority did not stop God from keeping his word. What did happen is that the nation as a whole rejected the fulfillment of the promise. Those who believed received. Had not even one single person believed, God would still have kept his word. His promise is a promise. It’s our joy that gets shortchanged when we doubt.
So the point? Hang on to your blessing! Don’t let it slip through your fingers by doubting. The promise will be fulfilled. There’s great joy and hope in that. God will accomplish in our lives what he has said he would. In these rough times, hang on to your promise. God is bigger and stronger than all our fear, than all that surrounds us in these days.