PSALM 50:14 – Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,”
THEME OF THE DAY: THE POWER IN PRAISE AND OBEDIENCE. So, who do we normally look at when trouble, trials, and difficulties come into our lives? I know there are multiple answers here. The one right answer for the Christian is the Lord Jesus, but maybe we look to others. It might be people for advice and help. Perhaps a spouse or another Christian with whom a close spiritual relationship exists.
I think when the pain in our troubles, the suffering in our trials, and the stress in our difficulties suddenly come upon us, the default person we talk to the most in life gets front stage in our thinking – ourselves. Why? Pain and our desire for comfort are powerful forces seeking to take center stage in hearts. And as we give into this selfish self-talk, soon comes selfish praying like this, “Lord, get me out of this. Lord, deliver me from this. Lord, take away the pain.”
Trouble, trials, and difficulties and their associated pain have a way of drawing our eyes off Christ and when our eyes are off Him, discouragement, even despair may darken our hearts, remove our joy, and hinder our witness for the Lord.
In today’s scripture, the author, Asaph, is expounding the sovereignty of God as it applies to both God’s people and the heathen. The God-centeredness and His self-exaltation is seen in nearly every line. And when we come to verses fourteen and fifteen, we find the way to go from being selfish and focusing on ourselves in times of trouble to getting our eyes off ourselves, on to the Lord, and bringing honor to Him – Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me (Psalm 50:14-15).
Three things are occurring in those verses. First, the Psalmist is in trouble. We don’t know what it is but it is real and any trouble can be distracting in our walks with the Lord. Next, God gives him two promises: deliverance from the trouble and the privilege of glorifying God in the deliverance. And there is a third thing which is our lesson and application in today’s nugget. The Psalmist identifies two actions we are to do.
To overcome a selfish fixation on oneself in times of trouble, praise the Lord – offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and obey the Lord – and perform your vows to the Most High. There is nothing profound here, but there is something quite practical here. In times of trouble, increase our worship of the Lord. Sing praise to Him. Give more thanks to Him, even for the trouble, and increase our obedience to His Word, especially the “one another” commands that take us away from ourselves. It is amazing how well we handle our own trouble by forgetting it and focus more on pleasing the Lord by worship and obedience. Oh, by the way, this isn’t a two or three step process to remove trouble out of our lives. It is the way to get the right perspective and put the right actions into our lives to include the proper response to trouble in our lives!
PRAYER: “Father, when trials abound in my life, help me to look off myself and on to You.”
QUOTE: “Praise and obedience are two acts of faith that drive discouragement away.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,