I will bless the Lord at all times.  Psalm 34:1

Praise is an act of the will. “I will bless the Lord at all times.” David understood this concept as few others in Scripture. Years earlier he had received God’s promise that he would be king. But David found himself in the wilderness living as a fugitive, fleeing for his life. All the ingredients were there to set him up for a major depression.  Instead, he made a choice—a choice to praise the Lord regardless of his feelings, or his circumstances. That’s pretty incredible.

     It appears that it didn’t matter to David whether he was sitting on the throne or being pursued by the one who was. It didn’t matter whether he was hungry or full, happy or sad, alone or with friends. All that mattered was that God was there. And as long as God was there, he could choose to praise. Praise is a demonstration of faith in God.

     I need to learn this lesson. I need to practice giving praise no matter what. For me, it means speaking the truth out loud and saying “God, I thank you” as I say the truth. It can mean singing again the worship songs that I know. Or sharing with someone else what God has done. (Of course, that means I have been looking for those things.) At thanksgiving when we were talking about what we were thankful for, my husband said, “How could we not be thankful for everything?” Then he mentioned the freedom to worship, to have Bibles, to go to church….but also shelter and clothing, drinking water and food.

     If I were truly and intentionally grateful, I would: Be more outwardly enthusiastic; I would act more alive; I would be excited about each day; I would live with more hope; I would laugh more; I would dance (nah, probably still wouldn’t do that. I’m so bad at it.).

     “To give thanks liberally, indiscriminately, even outrageously is to know not only peace, but a joy that transcends all understanding.” (Ben Patterson)

I want that!!

**What is one thing you will begin doing in order to live more thankfully?

God our Father, God our Father, we thank You, we thank You, for our many blessings, for our many blessings. Amen. Amen.

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