Guest Post By Marissa Heidinger
“Why, O my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:11, NIV
“I Will Yet Praise Him”
If ever a man knew what it was like to always be running for his life, it was David. First Saul, who constantly went back and forth between hating him and making peace with him. One minute, he wanted to kill him, the next he was apologizing and promising not to harm him anymore. Later, even David’s own son, Absalom, conspired against him to take his place as king. David had to take his servants and flee into the mountains. For much of his life, David was running from people who hated him.
In Psalm 42 and 43, David prays for help and deliverance from his enemies. He’s tired of running. Tired of being hunted like an animal. He pleads with God to show Himself and save him from his enemies who are constantly mocking His faith in God. He feels like God has abandoned him. He writes,
“My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ I say to God my Rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?’”
Psalm 42:3, 11
The storm of oppression is weighing on him, and he longs for God to prove Himself, to save him, to deliver him. It almost seems to him that God has forsaken him.
Yet even through all of this, David keeps coming back to one amazing theme: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Did you catch that? “For I will yet praise Him…” Through everything he is going through, David still trusts God and still praises Him. Why? Why would David praise God when he is facing so much? When God seems to be so far away? Why would he give thanks for what seems to be such a cursing, for that which he is pleading with God to save him from?
The Miracle of Thankfulness
In the Greek language, thanksgiving, grace, and joy, are all tied together in one word, eucharisteo. At first, these words may not seem entirely connected, but look closer—they are.
Grace is a gift from God, right? So then, would giving thanks be the accepting of God’s gift to us? But what if God’s grace isn’t always what we expect it to be? What if His grace doesn’t really feel like grace?
Let me put it this way. Thanksgiving is the accepting of all of God’s gifts to us, no matter what they are. Even if, sometimes, those gifts hurt. Many times, instead of accepting what God gives us, we complain. We say, “No, God, I refuse to accept this as a gift from You. I won’t take Your gifts.” And in not accepting what God gives, we make ourselves all the more miserable.
Now, there’s another word enveloped in the word, eucharisteo. It’s “joy.” Where, in all of this, does joy come in? Well, if we trustingly accept all the gifts of God, fully, then the natural result is joy. Fullness of joy. When we stop telling God “No!” and begin to accept His leading, praising Him for His gifts, the effect of that, is joy overflowing.
This is why David praised God for the seemingly terrible circumstances that surrounded him day and night. He asked God to deliver him, yes, but notice he didn’t say “No!” to God. He simply said, “I will yet praise Him.” Which is to say, “Even in all these trials, I will accept what You give me, in gratitude, knowing that You know what is best.”
In thanksgiving, David accepted the grace (the gifts) of God. And it led him to joy. Not only that, but peace as well. See, when we trust that God knows what He’s doing, and accept the gifts He gives us in infinite love and wisdom, we have nothing to fear, and with David can say, “I will yet praise Him.”
How many gifts of God are we rejecting because we don’t like them, because they seem to hurt, initially? How much joy are we forfeiting because we aren’t accepting His grace? My challenge to you is this: accept all God’s grace with thankfulness. It will lead you to joy that will bubble over into every aspect of your life.
Marissa Heidinger is a 17-year-old Christian girl who loves writing, photography, music, and the outdoors. She lives in Oregon with her parents and two younger sisters. Her goal is to show Jesus’ love to as many people as she can.