“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.”
Psalm 146: 1 & 5
As the book of Psalms concludes we are presented with Psalms of Hallelujah; of Praise. Psalm 146 begins with a simple call to worship. Our souls are to magnify God, to praise Him every day for all of our lives. The reason for this joy? God is simply to be trusted for who He is and what He does.
Before the reasons for this trust are explained we are counselled not to put our trust in fellow man. This dishonors God and disappoints us, humans cannot save (3); they die, they depart and their plans amount to naught (4).
God on the other hand is our help and hope. He is the creator of all things and is ever faithful, He: helps the oppressed; feeds the hungry; frees prisoners; gives sight to the blind; uplifts the bowed down; loves the righteous; watches over the alien, orphan and widow; and frustrates the wicked.
God is to be praised and is the source of true joy because He can be trusted; He provides happiness, help and hope.
Jesus announced His arrival, purpose and ministry in the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4: 14-21). He quoted from the prophet Isaiah (58: 6 & 61: 1-2); truths that we see here in this Psalm (7-9). Jesus fulfils and lives out the reasons for which we have hope and help which provide, in turn, true happiness. Spiritually, He can be trusted to set us free, give us sight, feed us daily, uplift us, watch over us and love us. He provides protection frustrating evil; this Psalm echoes Psalm 121 describing God as our creator (6) who we are to look to when trouble comes. Practical and material help are provided also through many sources including the Church, the Body of Christ. God is faithful!
This help and hope is also eternal as God reigns forever. So, focusing on God through Jesus Christ, enabled by His Holy Spirit, provides real happiness as our relationship with Him grows. As the Psalms at the end of the book focus on praise so may our hearts as we draw to the end of this year, inspired by God's help and Hope.
The Question of Application
In what do you place your trust; mortal man, material provision or the eternal majestic God Almighty? Focus on God and find genuine help, real hope and true happiness
God our creator and redeemer, inspire your people, in prosperity or adversity, to turn always to you, eternal source of life, health, and goodness; our help, hope and happiness. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Jesus Christ, my Living Hope by Phil Wickham
Tell out my soul – ExaltHIM vdo
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.