From God’s word – Giving praise in the midst of setbacks

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By Toni Ford

David teaches us in Psalm 9 how to give praise in the midst of our petition and how to celebrate, even in setback. The context of this psalm is battle, but the focus is the character and activity of God. Throughout Psalm 9, we are reminded that God is more powerful than our enemies. At the same time, He is concerned for our own individual struggles. David demonstrated for us how he turned to God when facing setbacks.
David praised God in the middle of his suffering. Psalm 9: 1-2 says, “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.” David reminds us that even in the middle of our pain and suffering and when we face challenges, our praise and worship to the Lord should still be our first response. Notice how David praised God with all his heart. What does it mean to praise God with all our hearts? When was the last time we shared with someone the remarkable things God had done in our lives? Have you ever experienced a filling of joy from the Lord? David praised the Lord with all his heart because he knew firsthand of the faithfulness of his God.
David trusted God to fight his battles. Psalm 9: 3-6 describes all the various ways God fought David’s battles for him. I love particularly Verse 3, which says, “My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when you appeared.” It only took the Lord’s appearance for David’s enemies to stagger and die! To me, that demonstrates the majesty and power of our God. How I wish I would remember this more often when I am facing battles of my own!
David knew the power of God’s name. Psalm 9: 7 begins with David recognizing God’s sovereignty over the nations and how God will one day judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. David immediately goes from recognizing God and His power over the nations to acknowledging what God means to him in his own life. Psalm 9: 10 is my favorite verse of this chapter: “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” I encourage you to stop and think about what it means to know someone’s name. Knowing someone’s name has multiple meanings. Think about if the name of a family member, spouse or best friend is mentioned. You would probably say you know that person intimately. You do not just know about them or “of” them, but you intimately know them. This is the relationship David had with God. He knew God intimately because he spent time with Him. As a result of knowing God intimately, David knew he could trust Him, and that no matter what David faced, God would not abandon him. There are so many promises from God to us if we do our part and search after Him to know Him.
David knew how the story would end. Psalm 9:17-20 tells us that in the end, God will bring justice to the wicked and those who are against God will go down to the grave. The wicked do not win in the end. God also promises that those in need will not be ignored forever. The last line to this psalm is very sobering and should serve as a reminder for all of us: “Let the nations know they are merely human.” We are only human, and one day we will stand before God and give account for not just our works here on earth. More importantly, we will be asked if we “know” God intimately as our personal Lord and Savior. God already knows the answer to that question, but until we stand before Him in heaven, we have the opportunity to make that decision here on earth. God will also judge each nation. Some of that judgment is taking place now, but the final judgment will come when He returns, a return that is not so far away.
Lord, I pray that I would learn from David, to praise You even in the middle of my setbacks, to trust You to fight my battles for me and to always keep in mind that I am only human so that I need You above all! Thank You for Your faithfulness to me!
If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at tonif77@gmail.com. I would love to pray for you!

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