There are two sentences repeated many times within Psalm 107: A) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And B) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Throughout the entire chapter, we see the same thing happening over and over. The Lord delivered them and they fell right back into distress. Then they cried out and again, "he delivered them out of their distresses." The first thing this tells me is that HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER. I'd have personally given them a good, swift kick. That's why He's God and I'm not. My mercy endures for a little while.
And who do I think I am to talk? Over and over, He has delivered me out of my distresses only for me to fall right back into them. And what did I do? I cried out, of course. Apparently, He delivered me... I'm still here. Though I must say, I deserved a good, swift kick.
Okay, so I got the "His mercy endures forever" part of the message. That's great and I am so thankful. What I want to know is how I can keep from scraping my knees and hitting my head on the floor every other day. Surely there is a way to keep from continuously falling back into distress. But of course there is! We serve a GOOD God! :)
It's that second sentence that He chose to repeat time after time: "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" Oh that I would? So, does that mean distresses never come around if you praise Him? Hardly.
The distresses in this passage are a direct result of sin. They brought the distress upon themselves. And they did so by their failure to praise the Lord. If they'd stuck with a continual pattern of praise, they'd not have fallen into iniquity. If you develop a HEART of praise, regardless of what things look like around you, you will find that God honors that attitude with good things. It's been proven so many times. I know you've heard people say that they claimed to be healed when the doctor said they were ill, and God was faithful to deliver them from their infirmity.
But this goes even deeper than that. What about the infirmities you can't see or that don't seem to directly affect your physical health... like the infirmity of hard-heartedness. It's those hidden sins that get passed even ourselves at times. And before we know it, we're right back into distress. That's why, neighbors, we must stay on the top of praise.
It's difficult sometimes, to break through the barriers of self to the area of praise we'd like to lift up to Him. But He'll also honor our diligence in trying. Just keep trying. One day, if you haven't already, you'll find that the Lord really does inhabit the praises of His people. And when He meets you in the middle of your praise, it will be sure to change the way you see "Praise and Worship." It'll no longer be a happy occasion of hand clapping and joyful noises. It'll become an intimate time of sincere and personal fellowship with the Most High.
But the scripture is not speaking of "praise and worship" as we know it. It's referring to our praise "to the children of men," our HEART of praise on a daily basis.
The key to keep us from repeatedly falling into distress is to repeatedly "praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" When things get to looking bad, remember to "cry out to the LORD and He will deliver you from your distress." And then ask yourself how you got into that state of distress in the first place.
If it seems like your meeting up with lots of distress, ignore it long enough to tell people how good God is. "Praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN!" despite the distress. In other words, "BRAG ON HIM!" He'll honor you for being diligent in your praise.