Monday, August 29, 2011

Remembering the Good (and God) Things...

In 1 Chronicles chapters 15 and 16, we have the story of King David settling in his new kingdom city, Jerusalem. He builds houses for himself and he prepares, albeit temporary, a place for the Ark of the Covenant to rest. After a botched attempt, David, the priests and his men, bring the Ark to Jerusalem and there is great thanksgiving. Most of chapter 16 is devoted to David's famous Psalm of Thanksgiving where he sings,...

"Give thanks to the Lord; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him; sing praise to Him; tell about all His wonderful works!"

David then goes on, in the rest of the Psalm, to recount the good things that God has done for him and for Israel.

Mind you, there are a lot of bad things in David's life he could have remembered. He was unjustly persecuted by Saul. He was driven away from his home and country. He had to submit to his sworn enemies to even survive. At one point, he had to become like a madman in appearance so that he would not be put to death. Along the way, he had experienced the loss of all his possessions, his dignity and even his self worth.

One thing he never lost, however, was his faith and his confidence in God.

In our lives, there are a number of negative things that we all could dwell on. But like King David, wouldn't it better for us and the body of Christ if we could commit ourselves to focus on the positive? I am not encouraging us to live a "Pollyanna" type of life that doesn't feel grief or sadness over losses and trials. But there is something to say for the life that lives in faith and trust, like King David, and continues to focus on the goodness of God even in the shadow of the valley of trials and death.

Paul said, "...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable - if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise - dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8) Peter says, "...make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love..." (2 Peter 1:5-7).

I think today you and I would be better people if we could join King David in saying, no matter what comes our way, no matter how people treat us, no matter what life throws at us...

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever..." (1 Chronicles 16:34)

May it be so...

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