At All Times

TLH1

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

Pictured above is the St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse (Lake Michigan) in a seasonal collage. If you haven’t already, you may want to read my other devotion titled Spiritual Winters, which was inspired by this same lighthouse.

Do you have a favorite song that brings you close to the throne of God? I have a few, but I was recently brought even closer by a song that was playing in the background while I was praying at the altar a few Sundays ago. The song is titled, I Will Bless The Lord. Please listen to it (below) in its entirety.

Tears flowed down from my eyes like a leaking faucet as I reflected on the words of this liturgical melody. I pictured myself as a lighthouse brightly shining in all kinds of weather; A beacon radiating worship and thanksgiving to the Mender of the broken and the Healer of the soul. I began to have flashbacks of the times when I’ve been downcast, deeply discouraged, and in physical/spiritual distress. These flashbacks were quickly followed by vivid memories of times of great joy, encouragement, peace, and abundance. All together they ushered even more tears of gratitude and expressions of praise.

I realize that my “bad” days may be nothing compared to what others have experienced or what I am yet to endure. Nevertheless, I have had my share of challenges, doubts, fears, and thoughts of wanting to throw in the towel (as a leader). Yet, during all of these times, an indisputable truth has remained. A reality that has made the difference between victory and defeat has manifested itself unfailingly. And that is that God has been faithfully by my side through it all. That is why, as the song says, I join all creation and glorify His holy name!

As I sit here writing this post, I am reminded of one of my favorite fellow bloggers. She is one of the very few people I know who truly shines like a lighthouse in all seasons. Her faith is evident in the life stories she shares on her blog The Silver Lining. Take a minute to read some of them and see how Angela sees a hopeful side in every situation.

When you truly love, follow, and serve Jesus you shine the light of His salvation in a world filled with spiritual darkness. That is why I consider every believer to be a lighthouse for God. And if you know a thing or two about lighthouses, you know that they serve as guides and markers in all kinds of weather, especially during dark and stormy days. With that in mind, remember that even though we can and will enjoy many wonderful and rewarding (calm and bright) days in this life, we are not exempt from experiencing difficult (stormy and dark) ones as well.

Contrary to what some “Gospel” preachers may proclaim today, knowing and serving God is not about being well-to-do or living trouble free. It’s not about avoiding every curved ball, pothole, or hurdle in life. And it’s definitely not about satisfying our wants. In other words, it’s not about us. It’s about living with the joy, peace, and assurance of God in the midst of a morally declining world; A world filled with many trials and temptations. It’s about what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago on a hill called Golgotha. It’s about His love, His faithfulness, His mercy, and His grace. In other words, it’s all about Him and who He is. He is The Maker of the heavens, the oceans, and the skies. He is the One who knitted us in the womb of our mothers and created us for His glory. He is the One who promised to never leave us or forsake us and that is why we ought to bless him at all times!

Prayer: Father of creation, truly the heavens declare your glory! In the midst of all the challenges I face, I see your faithfulness, your mercy, and your tender love extended towards me. I praise you simply because of who you are and because I am a recipient of your grace (unmerited favor). Help me to remain strong in you and to keep shining your light no matter what life may bring. May your praises be continuously on my lips.

SCRIPTURES
“All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” – Psalm 66:4 ESV

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– he remains faithful forever.” – Psalm 146:6

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13

“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” – Isaiah 43:7 NLT

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:5

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” – Psalm 34:1 ESV


-ALL SCRIPTURE IS QUOTED FROM THE NIV EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED.

7 thoughts on “At All Times

  1. Wow, Joe! Even though you let me know that you mentioned me and my blog in this beautiful post, I was blown away, humbled that you said such kind things about me; encouraging me at the same time! The thing is, I was reading your blog post, and was got so lost in being ministered to in truth, that I was surprised when I did come upon my name and the praise you had for my writing and hope in God, I feel so honored, humbled, and loved as your sister in Christ! Life is so hard for me; so many trials and tribulations, and for you to see that I still know God is with me, the way you know he is with you, just means so much to me! I’m so excited to share this blog post, not because my name is here (though this makes me smile!) but because it’s so TRUE! God takes our pain and suffering and turns it into our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28)! Our hope lies in Jesus Christ, and we must hold on to it, and know God will catch us when our faith falters. Thank you Joe, for seeing Jesus in me, for believing that I am a genuine believer who wants to do good in spite of living in a dark world, for believing and knowing I am a lighthouse like you… Brothers and sisters in Christ shine bright; not on our own, but because of He Who lives within us… Jesus Christ, Son of God! Blessings to you and your family, my dear friend, in Jesus’ name! ✝️💙🙏🏼

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    1. Our heavenly Father is always looking out for us. He is always there, always lavishing upon us the riches of His grace. You have been a proclaimer of that truth and He just wanted to remind you, through my post, that He loves you and is pleased with your faithfulness and steadfastness. Thank you, Angela, for being a true lighthouse for God. May his blessings be poured out over your family until it overflows and may you never stop seeing the Silver Lining is every experience you go through in life. For that is the gretest testament that “ALL things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” – Rom. 8:28

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    1. And thank you, Kathleen, for taking the time to read my post. May we never lose focus on why we are. We are to bless (shine for) Him at all times because it truly is all about Him. Thank you for shining His light!

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