As I was reading and studying Psalm 33 last month in preparation to speak at our one day women’s conference, I was reminded of how the book of Psalms was known as the book of praises. We can see right away in Psalm 33 how David calls us out as believers. In verses 1 he calls us to shout for joy & give thanks to God, vs. 1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. Praise should absolutely be a quality or characteristic of the people of God. It suits us to praise Him.
Did you know that the word “thanks/thanksgiving” is mentioned over 50 times throughout the book of Psalms? Why is THAT? If you are like me, I need to be reminded over and over as I personally find that it just doesn’t always come so naturally. I feel like sometimes it’s easier said than done. There are days that it is an all-out FIGHT for joy & gratitude.
Some days, from the moment I wake up in the mornings I literally have horns coming out of my head and my eye brows just can’t seem to unfurrow. I don’t wake up chipper and with a little song in my heart and I feel the pull to grumpiness as I quickly shuffle my way to the kitchen to make a strong cup of coffee. (And those were the days before having children!) Now it is still the same, but then having four little mouths that need to be fed immediately, diapers that need to be changed, soiled bedding that needs changed, all while stepping on Legos! I’m sure you can relate whether you have children or not as you deal with rude drivers, uncooperative coworkers, terrible customer service or even family disputes. It’s amazing how quickly the heavy grey cloud can come over us, and yet as we just read, praise is what suits the body of Christ.
How can we get out of that haze into a perspective of praise?
I’d love to tell you to just think positive, work out for those “feel good” endorphins, put chia seeds in your Kombucha (whatever that is), or have another cup of coffee…. But in all honesty those things (though all good things) won’t bring you the joy, peace or contentment like knowing our God.
Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is living and active… discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It filters our questions, doubts and fears and gives us clarity of heart and mind.
Believer, today I want to show you how establishing and knowing God’s authority results in an amazing outlook or attitude change as we realize our hope and ultimate joy lies solely in the sovereignty of the great I Am.
In verses 4-9 the Psalmist clearly establishes God’s Authority:
In Verse 4 “The Word of the Lord is upright.” We can know that what God says is truth and that He keeps His promises. Hebrews 10:23 reminds us “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Deuteronomy 7:9 also says “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” We can believe in who He is and know His word is truth, as the earth is filled with His steadfast love.
As we see fully the authority of the uncreated creator and His power, we can’t help but stand in awe of the one who gives us life. Verse 8 says Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! It truly gives us such a perspective change as to why we are here, what we are entitled to, and who we are living this life for. Ps. 33:9 goes on to say “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” Do we have confidence and know who our Creator is and what He is capable of? I encourage you to dig in the Word friends and get to know our King, and remember that His word always stands firm.
I’m sure some of you are like “Well that’s great Janell, It’s nice to know we can have confidence in the creator, but how does that help us in the day to day, or mundane as we feel like we have to fight for joy?”
I’m glad you asked…
I want to tell you how Our Hope lies in the sovereignty of the I Am:
Check out Psalm 33:10-11 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
He frustrates the plans of the people… this made me giggle as I read it as I thought about when we were first married and I had huge plans of babies right away. Four and a half years later and still no baby brought me to a place of doubt and frustration as I thought my plan was perfect and would bring me joy. Time and again I continue to learn and relearn this lesson of God’s sovereignty, perfect timing and goodness in the bitter and the sweet. Today we find ourselves expecting our fifth precious little one and thanking God for hindsight as His ways TRULY are perfect in ALL things.
I love how God’s plan and purpose always triumphs. He IS GOD as we saw in the previous verses. He frustrates the plans of the people because HIS plan overcomes & stands forever, the plans of God’s heart prevails through ALL generations. He IS GOD! We can have hope in His unshakable security and ultimate plan, for He shall NEVER be moved. Job knew this when he confessed and repented to God in Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
We have this false sense of control as we plan out our days and lives with short term goals, long term goals and financial goals. We then get discouraged or miffed if someone or something thwarts our plan, yet we so quickly forget that our King has a bigger and a better plan for our good and for His glory. His purpose and will for you WILL be accomplished. Our perspective and lack of trust brings us only to a place of discouragement and despair and reveals our selfishness as we hoped to find joy in other things instead of resting in the goodness of our King.
So what about that perspective of Praise?
Sometimes we find ourselves in the haze for DAYS! I love how as you read the entirety of this Psalm, it full circles! David tells us that praise suits us. As we continue to behold our King and nourish our souls in His Word, we can have hope in Christ. He is our lifeline! Our circumstances can still look messy, still broken and still ugly all around us, but He has NOT forsaken us! We can be at rest in Him as we are confident in Who He is and what He promises because today we have clearly established God’s Authority & we see that our hope lies in the sovereignty of the I AM. It can only then be natural that our hearts come out of that haze right into a song and perspective of Praise!
As Charles Spurgeon puts it,
“The root of faith in due time bears the flower of rejoicing”
And then the last few Verses of 33:20-22 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.