Pity Partier or Powerful Praiser?

“O love the L ORD, all you His godly ones!  The L ORD preserves the faithful [those with moral and spiritual integrity] And fully repays the [self-righteousness of the] arrogant.”

PSALM 31:23

When you’re stuck in a pit and life continues to throw you lemons it’s easy to lose your faith and start doubting God.  Some people even curse or denounce God depending on the circumstances they endure.  When you’re in a crap storm of chaos it’s perfectly natural to want to just wallow in crap displaying a crap attitude and stuck in crap thinking.  (Forgive me if you find the word crap offensive-it’s simply the best word I can think of to give you the visual needed to make my point.)

It’s easy to throw your hands up in the air, make a declaration of giving up and then retreat to a pity party.  But God tells us to be thankful in all circumstances (Philippians 4:6.)  He doesn’t say “Thank Me only when you’re feeling happy.”  or “Praise me after I bless you.”  No-God actually tells us to give thanks in ALL circumstances.  Let me get real with you for one moment-in the crap storms that threaten to overtake me I tend to put God on a timeline and when He doesn’t move when I want Him to I get impatient, sometimes angry and that’s when my faith gets shaken.  I then jump in His way taking over the reins and try to calm the storm and shovel through the dung in my own strength.  I am sure you can predict what happens…I tend to make the situation worse while wearing myself completely out.  Then I’m left feeling defeated.  Because I have no energy left to fight, I’ll surrender it all to God.  Am I thankful?  No way.  Even when I surrender the circumstance to Christ, I tend to slack on the praise part.  Sometimes it’s because I’m not sure what to even thank Him for but most often it’s because I allowed my heart to harden instead of trusting that God is faithful, that He always keeps His promises and that He is on my side.

No doubt David threw some intense pity parties.  I think there were times he may have thought or prayed, “Why me Lord?  Why me?  But what David did more was praise God.  Through the first 30 Psalms I have read praise upon praise upon PRAISE.  David repeatedly stands on God’s truths and wisdom and even when he describes his misery he pulls himself out of a funk each time by praising God.  The next ten Psalms (31-40) are chock full of examples of David being a Powerful Praiser.  Here are the top ten verses that personally have spoken to me and bring great encouragement to praise Abba for who He is as well as what He’s going to do in your life and mine.

  • “I will rejoice and be glad in Your steadfast love, Because You have seen my affliction; You have taken note of my life’s distresses, And You have not given me into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a broad place.”

PSALM 31:7-8

  • “Be glad in the L ORD and rejoice, you righteous [who actively seek right standing with Him]; Shout for joy, all you upright in heart.”

Psalm 32:11

  • “Rejoice in the L ORD, you righteous ones; Praise is becoming and appropriate for those who are upright [in heart–those with moral integrity and godly character]. Give thanks to the L ORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with the harp of ten strings.”

PSALM 33:1-2

  • “I will bless the L ORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. O taste and see that the L ORD [our God] is good; How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

PSALM 34:1,8

  • “And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness (justice), And Your praise all the day long.”

PSALM 35:28

  • “Your lovingkindness and graciousness, O L ORD, extend to the skies, Your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God, Your judgments are like the great deep. O L ORD, You preserve man and beast.”

PSALM 36:5-6

  • “But the salvation of the righteous is from the L ORD; He is their refuge and stronghold in the time of trouble.”

PSALM 37:39

  • “For in You, O L ORD, I hope; You will answer, O Lord my God.”

PSALM 38:15

  • “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear [with great reverence] And will trust confidently in the L ORD.”

PSALM 40:3

  • “Many, O L ORD my God, are the wonderful works which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of your wonders, They would be too many to count.”

PSALM 40:5

Now if you noticed a pattern in this list then you realized I picked one verse from each chapter of Psalm 31-40.  But you will also notice there isn’t one from Psalm 39.  That’s because that chapter is a prime example of David’s pity party.  Because I couldn’t find any praise in that chapter I listed two from Psalm 40. It is also one of my favorite passages.   It’s filled with praise and confidence in God’s deliverance. I encourage you to check it out and read its full context.  You will definitely be blessed by David’s writings in that chapter.

If you’re in the middle of an endless crap storm rest assured that you are not alone.   My closest friends have nicknamed me a “modern day Job” so needless to say I can relate to what you may be walking through.  The Psalms have always brought me comfort during difficult times and I believe God leads me to this book as a reminder of how I (and you) should handle dismal circumstances.  Grumbling comes naturally.  Praise does not.  But pity parties only bring misery.  Praise and worship brings comfort, peace and deliverance.  Which do you want to be-a continuing pity partier or a redeemed POWER PRAISER?!  I’m still a work in progress but am making strides in becoming the latter.  I pray you choose the same!

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