A reflection as we move from 2016-2017
Psalm 150 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
A Psalm of Praise.
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
3 Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
We have come again to the end of another year. As always when we leave one year behind and move forward into the next one there can be some mixed emotions. For some 2016 may have been a year you will be glad to leave behind, a year filled with more sorrow than joy, a year with more tribulation than celebration. For others 2016 may have been a year filled with great memories. It may have been a year which marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter in life. Obviously the circumstances and conditions of 2016 impact the way we view the coming year 2017. Do we welcome it as a continuation of the good and exciting things which we have been experiencing? Do we welcome 2017 because it offers new hope, a chance to move past the difficulties and trials of its predecessor? Might 2017 be a year that holds the promise of new chapters, graduations, weddings, the birth of a child, perhaps retirement? For some 2017 may be a year that is entered with fears for the future, fears, doubts and worries that the difficulties and trials of 2016 will continue or increase. Regardless of what the circumstance and the situation, we who are locked into this finite thing we call time tend to reflect about our lives at the changing and passing of a year.
In truth though, time as we measure it is relative. There really will be little or no discernible difference between this morning and tomorrow morning aside from what happens to us today and the choices we make. For myself, I have mixed feelings about the changing year. I have learned that each year, even each day will have a measure of joy and sorrow. 2016 contained a measure of both and 2017 will also. There will be things which will happen in the coming year which are beyond our control and there will be other things which we have a great deal of control and ability to influence through our actions and decisions. One decision we can make, whether the days are filled with joy or sorrow, promise or problems; we can choose, as the psalmist declares and encourages, to:
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
The Lord God is not locked into finite time as we are. He is eternal. He is unchanging, the same yesterday today, tomorrow and forever. His love never ends and His mercies are new every morning. Praising Him, blessing His name, giving thanks to Him, regardless of our situation and circumstance may not change all that we experience in this physical, finite life and time. But, we ourselves will be changed. As the psalmist says: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:3-5) God inhabits the praise of His people. As we bless Him, as we praise Him and delight in Him, we will know His presence in every circumstance.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit I pray that for each one who does not know Your love, Your mercy and Your grace that this would be their time, their season. I pray Lord, for those who do know You that our faith would grow and increase. I pray that the coming season, regardless of the circumstances we encounter, would be filled with the blessing of a deeper walk with You. Praise the Lord, bless the Lord O my soul. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Amen
May this be your song, your prayer today and throughout 2017