“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9: 1-2 NIV)
David had a very intimate relationship with God. He felt no reservations in telling God how he felt at any particular time. The psalms capture a range of emotion- happy, joyous, angry, enraged, defeated, depressed, sad, lonely. David knew what it felt like to be admired by and hated by people. He knew what it felt like to have an entire army come against him and have no one but God in whom to seek refuge. He knew what it felt like to have sinned against God and to endure the consequences of his bad decisions. David also knew first hand of God’s mercy and goodness toward him. No matter what happened in his life, David knew for sure that the one place he could turn was to his Heavenly Father. He knew he could count in God’s faithfulness. And God saw David as a man after His own heart.
David wasn’t just praising God that day because everything was going great. On the contrary, things in his life at the time seemed to be falling apart. In the verses immediately following, he describes his enemies and those who seek to destroy him. No doubt he knew no end to trouble and heartache. But David knew something about God that we often seem to forget-he knew that in times of trouble, the most powerful thing to do was to offer God praise. Most of us find it super easy to shout praises to God when life is peachy-keen and everything is okay. But none of us find it easy to praise God when life is hard, and the walls seem to be closing in on us, and when the rain is falling so hard it is difficult for us to see what is ahead. The truth is, this is precisely the time when our faith in God-the same God who has rescued us before and who is willing to do it again-should kick in. It is the exact time when our mouths should be filled with praise because we just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will move on our behalf. And of course, it doesn’t come easy, but as with anything, the more we purpose ourselves to practice praising God in times of trouble, the easier it becomes. We will soon find that our attitude toward life and circumstances begins to change and we become a happier and more successful people; we find that we have become people after God’s own heart.
I’ll praise you in the storm and I will lift my hands, ‘Cause you are Who You Are, no matter where I am And ev’ry tear I cry You hold in Your hand; You’ve never left my side And though my heart is torn, I will praise you in the storm…” (Praise you in the Storm /lyrics, Casting Crowns)