Links Daily Devotional

Robust Faith

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (Psalm 103:1, NIV)

Hit and giggle. It’s the label often attached to the play of women or couples foursomes. It carries, then, an insinuation that women do not care as much as men when it comes to their golf. Honestly, this may be a good thing. Any number of men care far too much and in their anger look like fools.

It is God himself who makes us able to praise him soulfully, apart from our sinful condition.We would never say of professionals, though, that they care too much. Sure there are those who let their anger come forth in ugly display, and the lack of decorum is never pretty. But this is their job, their livelihood, their paycheck—they had better care!

And so should we when we consider not our golf but our faith. Neither lukewarmth nor lightheartedness are desirable attributes for a man or woman of God. Our passion for God and our pursuit of his ways: these are meant to be robust activities.

Consider the words of the psalmist, David, in opening the 103rd psalm. The praise of the Lord is to be done from one’s soul, with the inclusion of all one’s inmost being.

Meditate on this idea for a minute. Where are you holding back in your praise of God? What fraction of your inmost being is truly given over to God?

The asking and answering of such questions in naked honesty is in itself a step in the right direction. It lays our heart with all its occlusions and irregular beats open before the Lord. As vigorously as this muscle fights for its life, we are guilty of overeating and underexercising. Understand that we are speaking of your spiritual life here. Our sinful flesh is opposed to the full work of God in us and the full praise of God through us. But when we dare to observe this diseased living with spiritual eyes, we are positioned to throw ourselves on the mercy of the Great Physician.

Look now at the ensuing verse of Psalm 103: “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives your sins and heals your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…” (verses 2-4). It is God himself who makes us able to praise him soulfully, apart from our sinful condition.

So let us begin there. Let us praise God for the forgiveness he was wrought through the blood of his Son. It is the blood of cleansing, flushing out the blockages and reestablishing us in health. From here we go on praising God, for his redemption, for the love and compassion he causes to shine in us (imagine!), and for his satisfaction of our desires with good things (verse 5). Yes, call on your inmost being to be robust in its expression, brightly awake each day to the wonders of God and the praise that honors him.

Jeff Hopper
November 15, 2016
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