Women of Reverence welcomes Belinda Van De Griendt as a guest blogger.
Belinda Van De Griendt is a 40-something wife, homeschooling mom, and grandmother.
She serves with her husband, Bjorn, as a deacon at City Base Church in Springs, and also works as the church secretary.
Belinda is passionate about the Word of God, and about helping others to grow in their spiritual lives through teaching the Word. Belinda has a BPrimEd from Wits and a Bachelor of Theology from UNISA.
In a period of complaining and criticising and concern like this lockdown (and 2020 in general!) has been, it's easy to forget to do things that used to come naturally to us. I know I've been guilty of this, and I know that's why the Lord was kind to gently nudge me to read Psalm 147.
Psalm 147 starts with these words: "Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!" (Psalms 147:1 NLT).
Reading these verses really made me take a look at my words and my attitudes. That word" fitting" struck me - the Amplified Bible uses the words "becoming" and "appropriate" - praising the Lord is the right, proper, appropriate thing for a believer to do, and it fits us because it is what we are made to do.
So if I'm wearing worry, or anger, or grumbling, I'm wearing the wrong spiritual clothes, things that are not made for a Christ-follower to wear. But not only is praise our duty - it is a delight!
Matthew Henry says that "praising God is work that is its own wages".
Praising the Lord brings Him honour and and pleases Him, and then in praising Him we are reminded of His glory and majesty and power and love and mercy ... and our own joy rises up inside of us!!
And then the writer of Psalm 147 really gets to the "why" of the Psalm - why is the Lord worthy of our praise? To borrow from another famous poet, let me count the ways:
"The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! The Lord supports the humble, but He brings the wicked down into the dust." (Psalm 147: 2 - 6)
Wow!! No matter what you're feeling about yourself, or the world, or your situation, right now, the Lord is speaking to you, and He wants to comfort you and lift your weary head today:
* If you are feeling exiled and outcast, He says YOU BELONG, you're part of the family, you're gathered in. * If you feel broken and bruised, He has come to heal you - David Guzik says that Jesus "is willing to take the worst patients, and has never yet lost a patient"! Nothing in your life is broken beyond is power to repair.
* If you feel unimportant and insignificant, know this: if God knows and names all the stars (1 billion trillion of them, scientists think), He certainly knows and names you! You matter to Him.
* If you feel like your situation is out of control and without hope, He wants to remind you today that His power is absolute - He can and He will work all things to the good of those who love Him.
* If you are out of answers and out of strength, He says lean on Him - His wisdom and might and understanding and capacity are beyond our comprehension, beyond our measuring.
So I hope you will join with me today in "singing to the Lord with thanksgiving" (v7) - if we understand anything of God's majesty and glory, it should naturally cause praise to well up in us, and overflow out of us, whether we praise Him with song or dance or shouts of joy or on musical instruments.
John Trapp, a Bible commentator in the 1600's said "an unthankful man (or woman) is an ugly, I'll-favoured spectacle"!
May that never be true of me again, Lord! GREAT IS OUR LORD, AND MIGHTY IN POWER!!