Let us praise God at all times!
The psalmist David, when he penned his thanksgiving song to God in Psalm 34, was actually suffering a really low point in his life. He had fled after learning that Saul was determined to kill him. He was at the point of becoming a fugitive and an outlaw. He was lonely and despairing.
In verses 1-3 he says: “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.”
These words ‘at all times’, and ‘always on my lips’ don’t actually imply a literal continuation of praise where by so doing we don’t get anything else done. But they do encourage a pattern of thankful behaviour in all circumstances. When we think about what happens in any given hour, how many moments in that passage of time could we have praised God? Or in one day, one week? When we take a moment to praise God, and add that to the next ‘moment’, we start to build a pattern, a habit, a natural way of living in thankful response to our Lord. The focus shifts from ourselves to God and credits him with all praise and glory. David was able to look beyond his suffering and low season of life by praising God, and committing to doing so, despite his circumstances.
It is worth asking ourselves, “When was the last time I actually stopped to praise God or thank him?” This morning? Last night? Last week? Last year? Let’s be challenged to recognise who God is and consider how to honour him in all sorts of moments in our day.