The Lost Art of Exulting
A few days ago I celebrated the 21st anniversary of my 40th birthday. The following day was a Sunday, and the church surprised me by continuing the celebration with a time of sharing during the service. One by one, different folks from the congregation got up and shared personal stories of how God has encouraged and blessed them through their time at the church. It was a sweet time of reflecting back on how God has been at work in our lives, while at the same time, focusing on how our personal relationships with each other have helped us grow in our relationship with God. I think we all left the service feeling encouraged by what God has done in each of our lives.
As I’ve reflected on the testimonies people shared, I’ve been reminded of Psalm 105:1-5, which says: “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds. Exult in His holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him. Remember the wonders He has performed, His miracles, and the rulings He has given.”
I love how this passage reminds us that there is power in taking time to remember - especially when it's remembering all that God has done for us. One of the reasons it's so powerful is because, as we remember all that God's done for us in the past, it encourages us that He will care for us in the future. But even more than that, it reminds us that God has a plan, and He never abandons His plans or His promises. And while we may know these things on an intellectual level, the truth is we often “forget” them on an emotional level when we're facing challenging times. That’s why remembering the truth about who God is and how He deals with us will build our strength for moving forward.
So even when life is tough and things don’t seem to make sense to us, we need to remember God's faithfulness to us in the past, and then rest assured that He is in control and is working out His plan in the present - and for the future. We need to consciously choose to trust God when He says His love for us is unfailing. Then we need to let that knowledge encourage, strengthen, and motivate us as we daily choose to love God and others.
So today, let's take time to remember all that God has done for us. Then, out of that remembering, let's ask Him to build our faith and belief that He will continue to do great and wonderful things for us in the present and the future. And then let’s joyfully share with others the wonderful things He’s done so that their faith can be encouraged as well.