Week 48 I Will Praise You, Lord, With All My Heart

“I Will Praise You, Lord, With All My Heart”

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger) Week 48

Scripture Readings: Psalms 137-139

Key Scripture Verses: Psalm 138:1 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the ‘gods’ I will sing your praise.”

This psalm was written by David as a psalm of thanksgiving. He praises God for his devotion and answered prayer.

David was devoted to God. Here he mocks the false gods of the pagans and corrupt cultures.

He understood the nature of God and that there is only one true God who deserves our worship and our praise—the God of Israel.

David regularly leaned on God, depending on him for his needs to be met; and, God was faithful in meeting those needs, helping him through many difficult times. He acknowledges this when he states: “though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.” I think of the irony of the time Saul was pursuing him to kill him, but David ended up actually having opportunity to kill Saul instead, yet chose not to do so.

I particularly like the verse where David mentions that as exalted as God is, he cares for the “lowly.” God cared for him and he knew it and felt it in his everyday existence that the God who created all things cared enough to give him his attention and cared about his needs. The God who deserves the devotion of all and is exalted above all cared enough for his “lowly” servant to answer his prayers.

David is so appreciative of God’s attention and faithfulness, especially his abiding love that “endures forever,” that he appeals to God to “not abandon the works of your hands”—knowing that he will always be as attentive to all of his creations. These statements demonstrate David’s great faith and trust that God will always be there for him.

In this psalm David not only shows his appreciation, but says that his praise is not enough—all the kings of the earth should do the same. All should sing with praise and acknowledge the “ways of the Lord,” and that he deserves all of the glory bestowed upon him.

May we develop the faith of David that we also have the passion of his devotion, that we may be able to say these words with all of our being: “I will praise you, Lord, will all my heart; before the ‘gods’ I will sing your praise.” Amen!

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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