What do you do when you learn something interesting? How about when you learn great news? For instance, maybe some of these describe you:
- Do you…tell everyone you meet (even people at work who don’t care, and the cashier in the checkout lane who is just trying to get the credit card reader to work)?
- Do you…post it all over your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feed?
- Do you…bring up the subject in conversation, just so that you can share your story?
Good news can usually find an audience. Random trivia from the Internet…well, that depends on your delivery.
In the 71st Psalm, the author has good news, and wants to tell everyone:
O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.
Psalms 71:17-18 NASB
We would do well to follow the example of this author. If God has done great things for you, get the word out! Or, perhaps I should say, since God has done great things for you, share the good news. Understand that I’m not pretending that everything is buttercups and unicorns, but if we accept that God is who He said He is, we are indebted to him for our lives, the world we live in, and the chance to live a life in community with him (even after we made the decision to walk away).
Personally, I know that my prayer life is sometimes better on the “ask for stuff” side of things, compared to my skills on the “be thankful” half of the ledger. My prayer list does include a reminder to be thankful to God, but that’s something like 5% of my overall list.
However, while I don’t naturally turn to the Psalms to read, they are a great source of examples of writers boldly and plainly praising God. As a result, when my devotions find me in the book of Psalms (or other parts of the Bible that communicate the same kind of message), they offer me a much-needed reminder.
That is, when we get into those times when it is easier to ask God for things (which isn’t wrong) than to thank God for what He has done, the Psalms are a great place to go. And, if we’re having a bad day, there are plenty of Psalms about that, too.
Along the same lines, the old hymn, Count Your Blessings, provides a simple reminder. Even on days when we don’t even have the lemons to make lemonade, a careful inventory of our blessings is often enough to adjust our perspective. While it may take a few tries to sift through the trials that cloud our vision, finding a few reminders of God’s provision and promises can get the ball rolling and lead to a longer list of blessings to enumerate.
And, for those of you whose lives exude thanks and praise to God, congratulations! Remember, though, that in addition to the opportunity to glorify God ourselves, there is also an opportunity to pass along a legacy in kind. If you have gotten to the season of life where God has been good to you for many decades, don’t forget those who don’t [yet] share that benefit. Spread the message along those to the next generation – and maybe generations after that – until they cannot help but follow the One who has blessed you, receiving blessings of their own, in turn.