I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. – Psalm 34:1-3 (NLT)
There is so much we can learn from this short passage about being grateful in difficult circumstances. We see in verse two that while David considered himself helpless, he was still able to take heart and trust in God’s goodness. He expressed his desire to praise God constantly, at all times (verse 1). He was so grateful he even asked others to praise God with him.
Let’s break this down and look at each of David’s actions individually:
He recognized his helplessness
David wrote this psalm after being delivered from a Philistine king (1 Samuel 21:10-22:1). He knew that his deliverance came only from God and that it was nothing he did. The credit and the glory could only go to God.
He expressed his desire to praise God continually
Notice that he intends to praise God “at all times” (verse 1). He knows there will be more trials in his future, and he is setting his will to praise God, no matter what. Let us match our own intentions with David’s: We will face more sorrow and more tough times ahead, but we can resolve to praise God through it all. Charles Spurgeon had this to say about this verse: “He who praises God for mercies shall never want a mercy for which to praise.” Praising God leads to new mercies every day (Lamentations 3:22-23).
He encouraged others to praise God, too
We often ask others to pray for us, but David shows that we should also ask them to join with us in thanksgiving. “God’s praises sound best in concert, [so let us] praise him as the angels do in heaven… We should be as desirous of the assistance of our friends in returning thanks for mercies as in praying for them” (Matthew Henry Commentary).
This really hits home for me. I earnestly seek the prayers of others before God moves in my life, but am I just as fervent in asking others to thank God after he moves? Something to think about…