“I will extol You O Lord, for You have lifted me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You and You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave. You have kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord you saints of His and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.”
Today I was meditating on the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot and asked the Holy Spirit what it means to me personally this year. I heard Him say “Thankfulness”! “Become such a thankful person that Heaven will know you for your thankful heart”. As I thought back over the past year, I realized there was so much I could thank God for. Psalm 30 came flashing into my heart as I remembered difficult times which felt like they would never end. But the darkest dawn was followed by the breaking of day, and ‘joy came in the morning’!
The Feast of Tabernacles is very much about giving thanks. It was traditionally a celebration of the harvest, as people brought in the produce of their fields and lived in temporary structures made out of branches while they did so. This was a commemoration of Israel’s 40 days of wandering in the desert and living in tents. In the days of the temple, this feast was a glorious pageant of celebration and rejoicing, with the Levitical priests chanting Psalms 113-118 accompanied by musicians.
David is believed to be the author of Psalm 30. It is supposed to have been written for the dedication of the temple which he built, and therefore written with much personal reflection, and thanksgiving. In these verses, he lifts up (extols) the name of the Lord for all the wonderful things God has done for Him. Friends, this is David’s formula for walking in joy – thankfulness, and it can be a blessing to us too.
David says “Sing praise to the Lord you saints of His and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.” David looked back and thanked God. God has been good to us, and if we stopped to remember all the amazing ways we have been blessed, it would be so easy to be thankful, and easy to believe for even better things today. There are many ways the Lord takes care of us which we may not even be aware of or consider. When we are waiting for an answer to prayer, or experiencing a difficult situation, it is easy to focus on what has not happened, and to feel unloved by our Lord. David does the opposite. He remembers the multiple blessings he has experienced on his life.
1)You have lifted me up! David acknowledges that he was in a very dire situation when the Lord reached out and redeemed him. God lifted him out of the pit he was in. We can all identify with this as we express our thanks that Jesus died for you and me, and took our place on that cruel cross. He intervened when we were on a path of self destruction. He has set us free! His blood has rendered us righteous and holy, and by the power of the Spirit, it is possible to walk in the victory He died to give us. We have been lifted up from the miry clay. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. There is no good thing the Father will withhold from us, the fully adopted sons and daughters of the King. We have been lifted up, and we thank you Lord!
2)David had many enemies who tried to take his life, but he was still alive and well, and walking in faith towards his destiny. Each day we are faced with challenges, road blocks and attacks from different sources, which could derail and discourage us. The Word of God tells us that our battle is not with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), because the real sources of our difficulties are often spiritual ones. Although David’s battles were very real and painful, he escaped death and destruction many times. He says “You have not let my foes rejoice over me.” There were many occasions in the past months when I saw the enemy rise up against me but God gave me the final victory. Psalm 91:11 says “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Let us give thanks to God for the covering of the powerful blood of Jesus, the constant presence of the Holy Spirit, the living Word of God, and angels commissioned to act on our behalf – hallelujah! We are alive and standing. We are living in His love. Let us thank God that He ha called us to be Kingdom people with a Kingdom Commission! You and I are well protected! We overcomers, and more than conquerors in Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:37).
3)You healed me. David says “O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. You brought my soul up from the grave; you have kept me alive”. John G Lake, the anointed healing evangelist (who died in 1935) said that sickness is “incipient death”. This means that any sickness has the potential to end in death, but we recover by the grace of God and the power of the blood of Jesus. When David said “You healed me”, he was (unknowingly) confessing the eternal spiritual reality which is ours by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice. He knew it was already a “done deal” because God was on his side. “By His stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Dear friend, if you are in need of God’s healing touch upon your life today, I encourage you to begin to thank God for how He has healed you in the past. Thank and praise Jesus for the power of His blood and the presence of the Holy Spirit who brings you into the fullness of all that Jesus died to give you. He wants you healed and whole and walking in His blessing. He wants you to receive all the power of the cross and the Blood on your life. Be healed today, in Jesus’ mighty name!
4)Joy comes in the morning! Finally, if you are going through a rough time, my heart goes out to you, and I know it is hard, but please let me remind you that it has to end. People say “All good things come to an end” but I would say “All bad things come to an end”. God’s favor is for life! He only desires to fill your life with His very best, and these tribulations are all Satan’s unpleasant interruptions to Abba’s good plans which are to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). Even when we grieve the Lord with some act of disobedience, “His anger is but for a moment”. “Weeping may endure for a night”, and the night feels very dark and endless, but rejoicing comes in the morning, hallelujah! Thank God for all the times in the past when you went through difficulties but felt His grace upon your life, and came out stronger in your faith and more compassionate towards the needs of others. Begin to thank God for the breakthrough you are expecting, and the dawning of the morning! It is nearly here! Thankfulness helps us to make it through the night seasons of life.
I have resolved today to find reasons and opportunity to sincerely thank God in every situation, and appreciate His loving presence in every area of my life. He is awesome and amazing, and loves us so much. He alone is worthy of our loving adoration and our grateful thanks!
May this simple truth bring joy, hope and victory into your life, and increase your faith, as you walk in the power of a thankful heart and in the dynamic expectation of seeing God doing yet again the good things He has done in the past. Stand on your history with Him; He has proven Himself faithful! Remember weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning and His mercies are new every morning! May Daddy God wrap His arms around you and fill you with a sense of His love and presence. You are loved and cherished by Abba, and His chosen child, and I am thankful for you!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 01 October 2012
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