Today's thought is penned by Youseff.
The book of psalms is one of the most loved parts of the bible. As readers, we find psalms to be expressing all the emotions we normally feel including anger, frustration and despair as well as joy, gratitude and excitement. Psalmists express to God how exactly they think and feel however inappropriate their emotions may seem. It’s no surprise that the book of psalms has such universal appeal, as people of all nations and generations have identified with the psalmists’ words.
It was so inspiring to read psalm 92 as a message of encouragement for everyone to be thankful to God every day of our lives. It’s so easy to find reasons to complain and protest. Resenting life because it has been unfair to us can be the default feeling we wake up to every morning. Satisfaction and contentment may seem to be very distant emotions that barely visit our hearts.
This morning my 5-year old son cried his eyes out over the few chocolate cereal pieces he spilled out of his plate, spoiling his enjoyment of the rest of his breakfast. We tend to do the same in our lives, lose pleasure in what we have because we only focus on what we don’t have. We forget to be grateful for our health because we only think about our lacking bank account balance. We don’t have time to thank God for having a wonderful caring family because we are too busy resenting this one friend who failed us.
I noticed that the psalmist is not only thankful for “all what God has done for him” (92:4), but he is also extending his gratitude to God for who he is. He is praising God for his “unfailing love”, “his faithfulness” (92:2) and for his “deep thoughts” (92:5). For me, this is a key to live content in this life.
Our emotions tend to be merely reflexes triggered by the events that happen in life: “I’m over the moon because I got promoted at work”, “I can’t stand my life anymore after my insurance claim has been rejected”. Our lives can be transformed forever if we started to do what the psalmist did by attaching himself to the rock who never changes or casts a shifting shadow. We will find joy in life if we start meditating on God’s character, unchanging love, everlasting grace and steady acceptance rather than contemplating our entitlement to his good deeds all the time.
It’s normal to have negative feelings at times, but our response to these feelings determines the emotional tone of our lives. When things don’t go our way, do we run to the strong fortress of our saviour and hide under his shadow? Or do we let our hearts to be tossed and blown about by the volatile and uncontrollable emotions?
Let’s live a grateful live, worshiping God with the psalmist everyday “Praise the Lord my soul, and forget not all his benefits”.