Summary: Mature adults wrestling with past failures, mistakes, disappointments: A Life Review of the good with which God blessed you through the years will motivate you to spend the rest of your days praising God for new life in Christ.
PRAISING GOD FOR ALL THINGS NEW
“Behold, I make all things new”! This resounding promise emanating from the throne in John’s vision of heaven has stuck in my mind from the beginning of my “walk with the Lord in the light of His Word. What a glory He has shed on my way! While I do His good will, He abides with me still, and with all who will trust and obey”!
Life Review is one of the therapeutic techniques counselors use with clients wrestling with thoughts of past failures while contemplating readiness for the life to come. In doing so, it’s better to accentuate the positive rather than the negative.
If negatives continue to be bothersome, we seek to mitigate anxiety by the use of the scriptural prescription of turning negatives into positives.
David, whose lifetime of “ups and downs” even though in a close walk with the Lord, felt bothered by his past problem of “fearing man rather than God” and, as a result, found peace of mind, heart and soul by renewing his trust in God – a renewal expressed in one of his most eloquent psalms of praise – Psalm 34 . . .
Obviously this acrostic of praise came out of the heart and from the lips of a remorseful servant whose bad experience - failing to trust the Lord just when he needed Him most - had preyed on David’s mind until he got it right.
Here’s what had happened: Out of fear of Saul, David had fled to Gath where he lied about who he was but was found out and placed under house arrest whereupon he deceived Achish the king by pretending to be insane, and consequently was expelled from Gath.
As fearful as David might have been back then, nothing can be more painful to a servant of God than a conscience that haunts him about lies, deceptions, and denials that contradict profession, and goes on haunting until there is confession.
What a different person we see in David after he looked back and saw how God had been faithful to provide in spite of his faintness of heart . . . reluctance to let go and let God . . . unfounded fears. With God on his side, how could he lose?
Once David came to grips with his failure, and renewed his trust in God, he no longer dwelled on his bad experiences but rather fixed his faith in and focus on the Lord God who had kept, and will keep, his promise to provide for His own!
Frequency of praise and focus of praise are great lessons to learn. David made a promise to praise. Will you make that promise? Be a fellowship of praise!
Notice the interweaving of the specific (David’s deliverance, vv. 4, 6) with the general (God delivers those who look to Him for salvation, vv. 5, 7). What this means is: what God has done for David, God does for all His servants (children). Praise God!
And talk about “protection”! Just as Elisha (you remember) was confident of the protection of the angelic hosts when he and his servant were surrounded by the army of Syria, so David sees the “angel of the Lord” (Would you mind if I told you I understand this “presence” to have been the pre-incarnate Christ) who encamps around those who “fear” (respect, honor, reverence) the Lord.
Such protection is “unseen” under normal circumstances, but nonetheless present. By the “eye of faith” we are assured of divine protection. David feared Achish because he had forgotten that his protector was ever present. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we need not fear, for the Lord is near.
In the Old Testament the Son of God was near - to reassure God’s people. In the New Testament the Son of God came here in human flesh to dwell among His people and to save them, yet few recognized him. Folks: That (not recognizing the Lord’s presence) is a mistake I never want to make.
I believe with all my heart: He is near . . . here . . . He is there when I need Him most. He will be there when I go to dwell in the place where He is making all things new.
Don’t just take my word for it. Do what David suggested: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” I love to go to “tastings” especially in Amish country, and after that, in Hershey, Pennsylvania – to experience the goodness of it!
To experience God is to experience His goodness that has been and still is evident in so many ways. The more we reflect on the goodness of God in our lives, the more we crave God’s blessings . . . We, “Like newborn babies, crave spiritual milk, so that we may grow up in our salvation, now that we have tasted that the Lord is good.”