Psalm 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
This is the first verse in today’s reading. The words “at all times” and “always” stand out, as “at all times” include these current times of crisis that we are living in. It is during times of crisis that our true heart of worship is tested. It is inevitable that what is in our heart will make its way to our lips, and I wonder, are words of praise and thanksgiving what is on our lips? If I’m honest, my psalm would say “His praise will SOMETIMES be on my lips.” I’m challenged by this Psalm that says “His praise will ALWAYS be on my lips.” I read this, and it causes me to pray that this would be true of me. How does one have such faith and such love that they can worship God “at all times” including these times?
So much of this beautiful Psalm is about invitation. God is inviting us to Himself. For example:
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
(We are invited to experience His goodness and grace.)
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
(We are invited to come and listen to and learn from Him.)
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(We are invited to come into His presence as we are, in pain and in brokenness.)
Search this Psalm and there are many more such invitations. What if we said “yes” to those invitations, and found ourselves in His presence, at His feet, experiencing His goodness. No matter what crisis or circumstance we are in, would not our lips, naturally speak words of worship, thanksgiving and praise?
The focus then is not to force our lips to say something that it does not feel, but rather to draw closer to our Christ who invites us to Himself. Especially in these times, may we do so, and find our lips utter His praise “always”, out of love and gratitude.