1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise, O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. 2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. 3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’S name is to be praised. 4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, 6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! 7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. 9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.
After 11 years of marriage and begging the Lord for a child, I came to the realization that I would not have the privilege of being a mother. I use to question the Lord – why aren’t You giving us a child? Your word says that one is blessed if she has a quiver full of children. Today’s text was always a tough pill for me to swallow and I would wonder why I couldn’t claim that verse for me. I finally resolved to the fact that my ways are not God’s ways, that He had a reason and I would trust Him. I can remember reading the following verses and deciding that I would make these my “life” verses:
~Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
If I wasn’t to be a mother, then I decided to redirect my thoughts. My thoughts were consumed with having a baby and they should have been consumed with trusting God and not dwelling on my lot in life.
Verse 6 gave me the guidance that I needed: in all my ways I was to acknowledge God. Acknowledge God? In what way? I believe that the Lord wants us to fully trust Him for every area of our lives. I also believe that He wants us to realize that He is the God of all creation and our Heavenly Father – His way, His path, is perfect for us. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us how to petition our Heavenly Father:
~Luke 11:2-4 When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. That’s it! It’s not my plans that I should be seeking after but God’s will. I remember praying day after day, “Lord, please bless me with a child!” After that, I was praying, “Lord, if I’m not to have a child, please show me what You would have me to do.” My focus turned from my circumstances to Him.
Why am I sharing this with you this morning? There may be someone reading that needs encouragement today. You may be disappointed that God has not given you what you thought was the desire of your heart. Today’s text reminds us that we are to praise Him in all things, whether they are blessings from Him or an answer of “no” to our petitions. The Lord desires to direct our paths. In fact, Proverbs 3:6 says that when we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He shall direct our paths.
At that point in my life, I had acknowledged that motherhood was not to be one of my many hats. I remember telling God, “OK, Lord, I’m over it. I have peace over this matter. Show me Your way.” The end of this story is that I was pregnant not too long thereafter and was blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Four years later, he blessed me again with another boy!
Is this to be the same ending for you? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that we are to praise the Lord for all things. Our circumstances may not be what we had hoped for but they are what they are. We must learn to accept God’s will for us. Granted, we may not be happy about it, but once we begin to praise Him, as in today’s text, we see there are so many things for which to be grateful! Our thought life changes from the negative circumstances to thoughts of hope for what is in store for us!
Maybe you feel you’ve been cheated in life – your health is bad, you’re childless, your spouse is not who you thought you married, you’re going through financial troubles, etc. I don’t mean to be harsh but, get over it and move forward in your walk with the Lord! He knows you’re disappointed – He knows you’re hurt. Let Him direct you!
Heavenly Father, I thank You for always being watchful. Who am I that You would be mindful of me!? I’m so grateful that the Lord Jesus Christ’s blood covers me and that I can come to You as a child to her Daddy. I can’t even begin to thank You for all that You have done for me. Whatever Your will is for my life, may I accept it and live it in a manner that brings you honor and glory! For it’s in the Lord Jesus’ precious name I pray! Amen!