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Singing Psalm 52 toward never ending gratitude

You are grateful when things go the way you would like them to, when nobody has a different idea that overrides yours, when nobody crosses you. In these instances, your gratitude is dependent on the circumstances going a certain way, namely, your way.

When things go contrary to the way you would like them to, when somebody’s idea overrides yours, when someone crosses you, do you wonder where your gratitude went? Must your focus on gratitude wait until Thanksgiving season next year?

What would it take to acquire never ending gratitude independent of your circumstances?

Singing Psalm 52 answers the quest for never ending gratitude because it puts you in touch with the one who orchestrates your circumstances AND who loves you.

Singing Psalm 52 you value mercy toward never ending gratitude

“Mighty man, why boast in evil?    For God‘s mercy is all day long.” ~ Psalm 52:1

Sanballat and Tobiah boasted that the wall of Jerusalem was so broken that it was irreparable. God in his mercy put it on the heart of Nehemiah to spearhead the effort to rebuild it. The Lord opened doors and provided the permissions, provisions, manpower, and protection needed to complete the work.

Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, removed the temple treasures and destroyed the temple Solomon had built. God mercifully stirred the spirit of Cyrus, King of Persia, to restore the temple treasures, and the Israelites, and to commission them to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

What has been taken from you or destroyed in your family? By faith, you wait with never ending gratitude for God to restore and rebuild what has been lost and broken. He will “restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten.” ~ Joel 2:25

Jesus loves his bride, his church, and Jerusalem points to the time to come when the new Jerusalem is received by God’s people who, with never ending gratitude, will dwell in God’s merciful presence forever.

When you set out to accomplish something, you never know whether it will succeed or fail. You have never ending gratitude that God’s plans for what pertains to you are sure.

When you think of how it would not be wrong of God or unrighteous of him to have not provided a way out of the penalty of sin for you, you have never ending gratitude for the mercy he extends to you through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,” ~ Revelation 21:10

Singing Psalm 52 you value truth toward never ending gratitude

“With your tongue, you plot destruction    Like a razor, you work deceit.You love evil more than goodness,    And deceit more than truthful words.You love all words with destructive power    O you sharp and deceitful tongue.” ~ Psalm 52:2-4

You might say Doeg and Nabal valued the letter of truth without regard for the spirit of truth. They take after their father who led Eve’s and Adam’s mind not only away from what God said, but also away from God’s heart and purpose for his people.

David’s caring for the needs of his men took precedence over the law pertaining to the bread of the presence. If the priest, Ahimelek, had not given the bread for them to eat, and they died of starvation, he would have broken the higher law to preserve life. In contrast, Doeg, seeking to please King Saul, reinforced the lie that David was there to oppose him, went and murdered not only the priests but also their families. He disregarded the higher law to preserve life in order to follow through on the deception that had a stranglehold around a rash and deranged king.

The way to never ending gratitude is to examine the heart of God in each situation, and to imitate it. When you care about what God cares about, you trust his working all things together for good. The only sure recipe for never ending gratitude is to be thankful whenever things go God’s way, which is always! He uses calamity and trouble to bring about his perfect will. When your eyes are set on things above, and not on earthly things, you have never ending gratitude since God plans eternal pleasures there for you that are more than you could ask or imagine, but a good bit of suffering on earth is its precursor.

How are you doing? “God is on his throne, everything is going his way, and he loves me.” * Thinking of Jesus all the time, his goodness, his excellence, his wisdom, his peace, his humility, his gentleness, his longsuffering, his self-control, his joy, his praiseworthiness, his faithfulness, his lovingkindness, his grace and tender mercies, how true and honorable and just and commendable and lovely and pure and pleasing he is—that is the goal. Remembering God’s preeminence, sovereignty, and steadfast love is what you aim for as you seek his never ending presence with never ending gratitude. Never ending gratitude is something you increasingly grow into but will not fully attain until Jesus comes to take you home.

Nabal stopped thinking beyond the fact that David was fleeing from Saul. He didn’t consider that the reason he was fleeing was that Saul had tried to kill him several times while he was playing music to soothe Saul’s disturbed spirit. Nabal used his misplaced loyalty to Saul to break the higher law of being generous to those who are oppressed and in need with the bounty that God had supplied him with. He deceived himself thinking that he somehow did not receive all that he had and therefore didn’t think he needed to be generous with it.

Never ending gratitude will elude those who are self-seeking and deceived. Their gratitude is short-lived at best.

Singing Psalm 52 you value trust toward never ending gratitude

“This man would not make God his trust,    But he trusted his abundant wealth,And in malice he gained his strength.” ~ Psalm 52:7

Juxtaposed with one whose quest is for himself, his wealth, and his strength, you ponder how from the same soil you have both delightful vegetation and flowers growing among useless, stubborn weeds.

It is when the weeds encroach upon the good crops that you reasonably make a distinction between the two. You make a judgment on the obvious value (or absence of value) of each and act accordingly.

Singing Psalm 52 you acquire never ending gratitude when you embrace the picture of God breaking, seizing, and tearing the weeds by their roots, destroying them and removing them from among the living plants that he makes to flourish.

You might think of sad times when you or a neighbor viewed others as having the worst possible motives rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt – judging others by their actions while judging yourself by your good intentions. What tends to happen next is an avoidance of or separation from that person – the relationship is severed.

You have never ending gratitude that God chooses to view his people in Christ, not as they are, but as they will be.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” ~ 1 John 3:2

Then, it’s the separation that is severed as God breaks down the wall of hostility and unites himself with you, dwells with you as you abide in Jesus and draw near to him. He makes you able to approach his throne of grace with confidence – and the relationship is firmly established.

As you sing the Psalms and embrace the Scriptures in the Bible of the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God, you find an overarching theme: to seek God’s never ending presence – Immanuel – God with us – the Lord Jesus Christ – for whom you have never ending gratitude.

Next to the ugly weeds of relational severance the beautiful flowers of never ending relationships shine brightly. Your heart is filled with never ending gratitude as you ponder the flowering plant that looks nothing like the sown seed from which it came.

“…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ~ Matthew 16:18

“…they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared for them a city.” ~ Hebrews 11:16

“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.” ~ Revelation 21:22

With the Lord himself as your temple, and considering the vastness of all that he created, this whole earth could just be an aside for him. But he chose to center his grace and love to embrace his people whom he placed to inhabit this earth for a time. This is the basis for never ending gratitude:

“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” ~ John 17:23

“But in God’s house, I am growing    Like a green fruitful olive treeWithout ceasing, I am trusting    In the firm loyal love of God.” ~ Psalm 52:8

You have never ending gratitude that God does not expect you to know what, for a human, is unknowable. Instead he causes you to grow like a fruitful tree in good soil. You trust him to give you more than you would think to ask, more than you could ever imagine in the land where he will live with you and all of his people forever in love.

“I will give You thanks forever,    For it’s You, that has done all this;In Your good name, I will set my hope    In the midst of Your godly ones.” ~ Psalm 52:9

November 17-24, 2023


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