Spring has come and gone in many parts of the United States, but those of us that are in the cooler climates are still enjoying the beautiful spring colors. The lilacs, tulips, crocus, daffodils, and hyacinths are showing their beautiful colors ushering in summer. Then those beautiful colors will die away and wait for a whole year before they will show off their beauty once again for such a short time. It takes all that time for them to rejuvenate and restore their energy supplies so their vibrant colors will be on display for the next spring season.
For those beautiful colors to be ready for display it takes time to refresh and rejuvenate. During that time, they will store up energy from the sun, moisture from the rain, nutrients from the dirt, and a good hard sleep during the winter. But, it all takes time.
Psalm 119:164 reminds us, “Seven times a day I praise you, for your righteous rules.” It takes time to praise God seven times a day. Do I take that time to praise Him that often? Do I see the beauty of the flowers and praise Him? Do I praise Him when the crack of thunder wakes me in the night? Do I praise Him when my plans do not turn out like I thought they should? Do I praise Him for all the conveniences and the inconveniences of life?
We as Christians know we are supposed to have an attitude of gratitude, but do we keep a conscious awareness of praising God for all that happens in our lives to the point that we can say we praise God seven times? Yet, it is not seven times for just anything; it is seven times for His righteous rules. I wonder if I spent more time praising God for His righteous rules, if I would spend less time struggling with obeying those rules.
So what are some of these challenging rules for which I need to praise the Lord:
“A soft answer turns away wrath…” (Proverbs 15:1)
“The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer…” (Provers 15:28)
“The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil” (II Timothy 2:24)
“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is before us.” (Hebrews 12:1).
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7)
What happens when I take the time to praise the Lord for His righteous rules? I change my focus. With a changed focus comes a patience for God’s timing not my timing. As these righteous rules begin to dwell in me they begin to be what is stored in my heart rather than worry, anxiety, impatience, wrath, quarreling, evil, or “whatever sin clings so closely.”
Over time these positives will show forth just like the beautiful spring colors that show their beauty each year.
Time. Take time to praise God for His righteous rules.