Would you like to feel better -- or at least be in the best possible shape for your particular physical frame and condition? And, how about your emotions?
I will now share a theme with you that can lift you spiritually, physically, emotionally. Our Scripture is Psalm 70. The writer David is undergoing terrific pressures, surrounded by foes who thirst for his very blood. "Aha, aha!" they cry (v. 3) thinking he is giving up.
But, no, David turns to a spiritual secret and proves more than conqueror. That is the secret I wish to share with you now. It can change your life, too.
SEEK THE LORD
In times of great loss, sorrows, disappointment, do you sink or swim? Now, it is impossible for a terrified, non-swimmer simply to relax and stroke his way out of stormy waters. He can, however, cry out and rely on the lifeguard, and we can seek our God. See verse 4 of our text Psalm 70.
In times of wrong, dark thoughts we should turn up-stream and seek the Lord in prayer. Study the great Psalm 119 and notice what the author does during all his difficulties. He keeps a steady eye on the Scriptures. You and I need to do the same.
As worries crowd in, as lusts rise in response to temptations, one needs to go against the current and resolutely call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver, "for he is faithful that promised." (Heb. 10:23. )
"You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3)
Remember, Jesus Christ understands. As someone has observed, He deserved men's hallelujahs but had to endure sneering insolence.
WHAT IS TO BE OUR ATTITUDE?
"But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you." (v. 4) Though things within us and around are discouraging indeed, the Psalmist looks heavenward and rejoices. It is as clear and definite as that. In the world, tribulation. In the Lord, peace. Study John 16:33.
Now we arrive at the important matter of knowing God. You turn to God for relief and fresh help, but do you truly know Him? I do not ask whether you know about Him. Simply, do you know Him? True intimate knowledge of God comes through prayerful reading of Scripture and thoughtful experience.
Once you begin grasping new truths about the character and Being of God it will mightily affect your attitudes and actions. Those who seek Him end up more properly serving Him. A full exposure to truth brings response. J. I. Packer points out how our losses and crosses seem little in view of God's majesty. See Hebrews 12:2 and Psalm 119:141,161 . Reflection over Jeremiah 9:23, 24 will also help you see the overwhelming importance of knowing God in a personal way.
HOW TO PRACTICE THIS?
Interestingly, the Psalm rather places in parallel what the enemy says and what we are to say. As we are opposed, hurt, ridiculed, we are to say, "Let God be magnified." (v. 4) This means we are to actually put this into words within our hearts and thoughts and prayer and aloud to others. Our text also instructs that this "Praise God!" is to be stated "continually," that is, under all circumstances and at all times.
The Christian, then, is to be a person of praise, continually saying, "Let God be magnified." "Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day." (Psalm 71:8)
To magnify or glorify or praise God will involve thanksgiving. Ideally, it is the noticing or pointing out the goodness and favor of God in particular instances in such a way as to set forth His graciousness, power, faithfulness. Try it. Do it continually.
This grateful praising of God should be done in ordinary, daily conversations, as you are eating with your family, in testimony before the church, in letters, in your own personal recollection during prayer and meditation, on the telephone, at work, school or play. Rather than hosting dark thoughts, let the light of praise shine.
"Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.." (Ephesians 5:19,20)
This practice will bless you, both physically and spiritually. Jesus Christ lives and reigns. "Let God be magnified!" (Psalm 70:4)