|I Will Bless the Lord at all Times|
By: Joy Haney
“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
This scripture came to me afresh on February 28, 2009. It was burned into my heart like a flaming torch all over again. As I studied it, it was apparent that it was divided into parts. The first part was the “I will.” David chose to bless the Lord. It was a choice. To bless the Lord is always a choice that a person makes. He continued with his proclamation. He vowed, “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
This is the difficult part: to bless the Lord at all times. Ecclesiastes 3 gives mention of certain times in a person’s life. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted, a time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away; a time to keep silence and a time to speak. These are the times: the good times and the bad times, the abundant times and the lean times; the answered prayer times and the unanswered prayer times. The choice is to bless the Lord at all times.
Psalm 100:4 gives instructions how we are to approach God: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” So at all times the first step is to enter into his presence with blessing and thanksgiving for all the wonderful things He provides for us. Even in times of waiting for answers, there are many things to bless His name for, such as, life itself. The very breath we breathe is a gift from God. The sun that we take for granted each day is a gift from God. The water that we drink and would die without is a gift from God. The sleep that we sleep each night is God’s gift to mankind. The list is endless of His great blessings.
The second part of Psalm 34:2 is “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” His praise is all about Him. The scriptures are full of instruction to praise the Lord! This is how to enter into His courts with praise. The courts are where His throne is and where He dwells, so as we enter into His dwelling place, the proper way to approach Him is through praise. One of my favorite praise chapters is Psalm 150. “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150:1-2, 6). Praise Him for His mighty acts. When you think about the millions of people crossing the Red Sea on dry ground, being chased by the enemy, and then the rolled back sea waters being released upon the enemy where everyone of them die, this is a mighty act of God! When you think about the great flood that destroyed the earth because of the wickedness of the people, and how God instructed Noah to build an ark down to the tiniest detail so that he and his family could be saved, this is a mind-boggling act of God! Think about the creation of the earth and how God spoke it into existence. This is why the Psalmist said, “Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created” (Psalm 148:1-5). He commanded and they were created! Praise the Lord for His mighty acts! They are too numerable to enumerate here.
So the first part of Psalm 34:1 is a choice to bless the Lord. The second part is to bless the Lord at all times. The third part is to choose to let His praise be in his mouth and the fourth part is to let His praise be in his mouth continually. This is the tricky part, for it is no problem to praise the Lord when all is well, prayers are being answered, money is in the pocket, kids are doing good, and a feeling of well being permeates the air. The difficult part is to praise the Lord continually even when all is not well.
This is exemplified in the story of Paul and Silas who were in the will of God, but yet went through a very painful and difficult experience. People sometimes erroneously think that if they are in the will of God that bad things won’t happen to them, but that is not true. Paul and Silas had just had a revival meeting in Philippi. While they were praying down by the river on the Sabbath, there was a woman from Thyatira, a seller of purple, who worshipped God and she heard their prayers. She was intrigued by what she heard and they began to witness to her of Jesus, and she and her household were baptized that day.
Another day in that city, as Paul and Silas were going to prayer, a demon possessed woman followed them and mocked them. Finally after many days of this, Paul being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour” (Acts 16:18).
This did not set well with her masters [for she brought them gain], so they caught Paul and Silas and took them to the magistrates and accused them of teaching customs that were not lawful. The magistrates tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and commanded them to be beaten and cast them into prison.
A peek into the prison by the magistrates would have brought astonishment to their faces. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (Acts 16:25-26). This incident brought another revival. The jailor and his household believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were baptized that night as a result of this great supernatural miracle that happened in the prison.
When we choose to bless the Lord at all times and let His praise be in our mouth continually, God takes notice and He will open doors that are seemingly impossible to open. He will shake things up so that we are released from strongholds and constricting bands. The key is to choose to bless the Lord in the good times as well as the bad and sometimes horrible times, and to let His praise continually be in our mouth.
If you will this day, say, “God is with me! He is my refuge and my fortress, my God; in Him will I trust! He is great and greatly to be praised! Praise Him for His mighty acts and His excellent greatness,” and consistently keep His praise on your lips and in your heart, you will sense a shift in the atmosphere, for God inhabits the praises of His people.
Each of us makes a choice each day what we will do in every situation. When Job lost everything, he “fell down upon the ground, and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:20-21). It was his wife who tempted him to curse God and die, which in some people’s minds would have been the normal thing to do, but Job chose God’s way and answered, “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:10). Notice it would have been a sin to curse God!
So let us each choose today to join with David and Job and bless the Lord no matter what happens and keep our integrity with God. Job’s wife asked Job, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). It is a matter of integrity, a matter of choice to do what is right and do the thing that pleases God. May this scripture verse be on your lips and in your heart as you get up in the morning, as you walk through your day and as you prepare for bed at night, “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Article submitted by Joy Haney on March 2, 2009
Joy Haney, renowned author of many books, is the wife of the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church, Int., Kenneth Haney. They reside in St. Louis, MO.
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