Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
My son, Joshua, and I were riding down the road one day this week and a conversation was stirred as we were driving over the rolling hills of Union County roads in North Carolina. Poor Joshua, when I get my kids stuck in the car with me I have a trapped congregation and usually take advantage of the situation. I told Joshua, “Son, life is a lot like these roads. We have ups and downs, but we should pray for the Lord’s blessings, and work hard ourselves, that we could avoid extremes. The extremes are what usually make you car sick.” I know you’re probably thinking/asking, “How can an extreme of prosperity make one sick?” Solomon was a wise man who thought of both when he penned Proverbs 30:8-9, “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Truly, we need as much temporal grace to help with prosperity as we do if we experience poverty.
Many years ago I heard a story told about a preacher who served a Church in an area that experienced prosperity. A man asked him, “How the Church doing brother?” His answer? “The Church is kinda up and down.” “Up and down,” his friend asked? “Yea, either up in the mountains or down by the beach.” The Church he served had enjoyed so much prosperity they stayed on vacation more than they attended Church.
In our study verse, David says “I will bless the LORD at all times:…” I find these words amazing when I consider that David was, at the time he spoke these words, living in the Cave of Adullam (see 1 Samuel 22). David is saying, I will bless the Lord my God and serve Him when things are going good, and I will bless the Lord my God and serve Him when things are not going so good.
There is a man in the Bible who did this as well as any. His name was Job. During his time of prosperity, when he was called “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3), it was said that he was “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.” And when the devil attacked and he lost very near everything he said “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, God is God all of the time. God is good all of the time. God loves His children the same all of the time. We need Him in good times and in the bad. He is worthy of our praise all of the time. Whether our future holds times of prosperity, or times of poverty, let us be focused and content to keep Him first in our lives and serve Him faithfully that we may enjoy the blessings of His presence. Until the day we see Him face and face and inherit the Kingdom He prepared and He purchased for us, may we find grace in His eyes and love Him more. Amen!