1 Chronicles 15-17, Psalm 67
One of the men who attended our church, Tim, I had the pleasure of getting to know and had prayed with and fellowshipped with most weeks. As long as I had known him, he had been fighting cancer. Quietly during the service you might see him grimace with pain, change positions, squirm a little with discomfort. Last year he was told by his physicians that he probably only had weeks left. Despite this, nothing but thanks, praise and a commitment to serve God seemed to pass from his lips. Wracked with pain, rather than complain, he discussed the way he was able to bless those he served in the CCOB nursing home ministry. In prayers he often prayed that through his illness he may serve as a witness to those who might be struggling with their own problems. Through it all the words coming from his mouth were ones of praise and worship rather than complaining.
When you read the historical narrative on David in 1 and 2 Kings, we see he has been through quite a bit up to this point, yet despite this, he is the writer of many of our Psalms and has helped to illustrate to us the art of praise and worship. In 1 Chr 16:7-36 David writes a song of thanksgiving. In it we see verses such as, "Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples." (v.23-24). "Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!" (v.8-9). "Tremble before Him, all the earth..." (v.30). "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." (v.34). David penned these words as commands for the people from a heart overflowing with grace and praise.
Rather than this most people seem to major in complaining. Name the topic and people love to complain. At work, people complain about the drudgery of work often making note of how much time they have left before they can get out. At home they complain of their spouses and kids. When paying bills they never have enough money. On weekends they complain of the weather. In sports, their team never seems to win and complain about how the owners and coaches just don't know what they are doing. The list can go on and on and encompass every topic. But this should never be the case for us, who deserving nothing, and despite offering nothing have been saved by grace by One so much more worthy than ourselves. We have the example of David, but more importantly we have Jesus, who while on the cross, paying for sins that He Himself never committed chose not to complain, but in grace said in Luke 23:34, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." We all have our own problems which we have the choice to complain about or show God's grace through. What a difference we Christians could make if we walked through life daily not complaining but rather in praise and worship directed at Him.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: