“I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:1-7)
Recently I was reading these verses, and reflecting on all that God has done. It feels too easy at the moment to be overwhelmed by life. But in a crazy, fast-paced world, God is unchanging. I felt a nudge to focus on those words “abundant goodness”. I took a moment to thank God for my health, my family, my friends, my church, the weekend I’d just had. To remember His faithfulness to me in the past, how He has answered prayers, how He has been with me through some of the darkest days, and how merciful He is towards me (even in my own weakness).
“Count your blessings” may sound like just another cliche cheesy Christian phrase, one to be embroidered and hung up on walls, but it’s a great spiritual principle.
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
A while ago, someone pointed me towards a video of Kay Warren talking about the impact of her son’s tragic death and what it means to say yes to God. Right at the beginning of the video, she says she had to work out “What has God said to me in the light that I am having to live out in the darkness?”
Mary, a woman who was chosen by God to do a wonderful, beautiful but daunting task, learnt to ponder and to treasure. Although she rejoiced in God’s promise, she also knew that “a sword will pierce through your own soul also”. She stored up the moments filled with light, to keep her going during the difficulties, and to piece together the bigger picture of what God was doing in all of their lives.
We don’t know what’s ahead; we may endure seasons of darkness or confusion or pain. But the darkness is never stronger than the light, and I know that it is during those times that God calls us to remember His goodness. It may not change our circumstances, and it’s probably much easier to say it than sometimes to be able to believe it. But it doesn’t change the truth of God’s goodness.
Let’s call to mind the character of the God we serve – the One whose “greatness is unsearchable”, our faithful Father, the King who is also a servant.
Let’s enter this season of advent, of waiting and preparing for the coming King, by storing up and treasuring God’s word to us.
“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”” (Luke 18:19)