“Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
because his faithful love lasts forever!”
2 That’s what those who are redeemed by the Lord say,
the ones God redeemed from the power of their enemies,
3 the ones God gathered from various countries,
from east and west, north and south.
Some days it seems like there’s nothing but bad news. The kind of news that’s tough to hear about friends or loved ones, or news that shatters and alters our lives forever. We feel like we’re in a never ending place where bad news comes at us like waves on the ocean threatening to sink us. We’re waiting for good news, which seems like it will never come, like gathering together safely during the pandemic. So when we read this psalm about praising God, we realize that there is Good News, the very best news! God loves us and has saved us and will never leave us. God is with us every moment of our lives.
At a previous church, I had a Pastor who used to say, “God is good!” and everyone would reply, “All the time!” Praising God takes our focus off ourselves and puts our eyes on the presence of God at work in our lives. After this hard year we have just come through, there are so many blessings in our lives we can hardly count them all. But it’s hard to stand in a place of pain, fear or grief and praise God. Life can make us forget our lives have been redeemed by the sacrifice of God’s only Son for our salvation.
Reading this psalm reminds us that the Israelites were scattered through war, their central place of worship gone, their way of life forever changed. But God is good and remained loving and faithful, and gathered the redeemed from the east and west, north and south. God will gather us together again. What a wonderful time of worship that will be, when we will praise God safely in person together again!
No matter where you ended up on this COVID one year anniversary, whether you feel lost and wandering, or if your faith has taken a hit, or if your life has taken you to that place where you never wanted to be, remember God loves you, God has saved you and God will never leave you.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you in a place in your life where it’s hard for you to praise God? Look back at this year and see where God has been at work in your life. In every moment, we have an opportunity to praise God for the goodness in our lives. Take a moment to feel God’s loving presence in your life, and praise God for all God has done for you.
Prayer: Loving God, we confess we have not remembered your faithfulness and love, and we often forget that Jesus gave His life for our salvation. Open our hearts Lord, and remind us we have so much to praise you for, every moment of our lives. Amen.