May 26, 2017 • Life for Leaders
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71 is a prayer for deliverance offered by an unnamed poet who has repeatedly experienced God’s help throughout his long life. Now he needs the Lord to protect and save him once again.
In verse 14 this psalmist writes, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” The verb translated here as “hope” has a basic sense of “wait.” It implies an extended time of looking to God and God alone for deliverance. The second line of verse 14 literally translates, “I will add on to all of your praise.” “I will praise you more and more” captures the sense of the original.
Notice closely the relationship between hope and praise in this verse. The psalmist does not say, “I will praise you more and more because you have answered my prayers, because my hope has been fulfilled.” Rather, his growing praise comes in a season of hoping, as he is still looking to God to save him. His praise, in fact, strengthens his hope, because it helps the psalmist to remember God’s greatness and glory. When he praises the Lord for all he has done, the psalmist is inspired to hope in God more faithfully and earnestly.
When we are in difficult situations, when our desperation drags upon our hearts, it is sometimes difficult to praise God. Yet if we focus more on him and less on ourselves, if we remember his goodness to his people, including us, if we meditate upon his character, we will be stirred to praise the Lord even in hard times. Our praise will, in turn, help us to keep on hoping, because it makes the reality of God even more real to us.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
How have you experienced the relationship between hope and praise?
What helps you to praise God even in the midst of difficult times?
Gracious God, you are worthy of all praise. You are worthy of my hope.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you are the all-powerful creator of heaven and earth.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you have created beauty and given me the ability to delight in it.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you have been ever faithful to your people, including me.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you give me not what I deserve, but so much better.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you have delivered me from all measure of snares in this life.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you are sovereign over heaven and earth and are working out your design for the cosmos even today.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you have chosen me, of all people to be part of your kingdom effort.
I praise you today, O Lord, because you have saved me through Jesus Christ, that I might belong to you and serve you with all my life.
I praise you today, O Lord, because in you I experience a hope that will not disappoint me.
I praise you today, O Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Our Prayer as We Get Older
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.