Praise the Lord Throughout Life
Praise YHWH, my soul.
2 While I live, I will praise YHWH.
I will sing praises to my God as long as I exist.
3 Don’t put your trust in princes,
each a son of man in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, and he returns to the earth.
In that very day, his thoughts perish.
5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
whose hope is in YHWH, his God:
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps truth forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
YHWH frees the prisoners.
8 YHWH opens the eyes of the blind.
YHWH raises up those who are bowed down.
YHWH loves the righteous.
9 YHWH preserves the foreigners.
He upholds the fatherless and widow,
but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
10 YHWH will reign forever;
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
World English Bible Version
What are the benefits of trust in God?
To be honest, I’m one of those impatient sort of people. As I grew up, my mother would see me ready to explode when things would not go my way. At those times, she would always remind me: “Patience is a virtue that has its own reward.”
Like patience, faith has its own reward: happiness. People who really trust in God are truly happy. They have someone who looks over them; they have someone who is trustworthy and full of love. They have someone they can emulate in their dealings with their fellow human beings. Most important, those who trust God touch his eternal nature. Their faith is a window into an existence beyond the boundaries of space and time. While they experience God within the confines of this life, that experience points to a life outside of those confines.
Psalm 146 presented a compressed view of the Mosaic covenant, surrounded by a hymn of praise. The psalm was remarkable in its implicit belief that YHWH was eternal, based upon his activity in the temporal realm; in other words, his mighty deeds in the history of Israel revealed his immortality. Those mighty deeds were delineated in his covenant with the Chosen people. The creator also saved the poor, the feeble and crippled, the prisoner, the stranger, the widow and the orphan. The psalmist seemed to state that the faithful Jew would follow the example of God in his dealing with the less fortunate. YHWH revealed his eternal nature through his mercy and compassion; the faithful Jew could touch eternity through similar acts.
Praise acted as bookends to this remarkable vision of God. 146:1-2 indicated this praise was a life-long endeavor that overtook family allegiances or political alliances (146:3-4). Trust in the God of Jacob was a beatitude (146:5), for YHWH was the true, eternal deity (146:10). Trust in and allegiance to the eternal God led to a happiness that touched on eternity.
As Christians, we believe that faith in God now will lead to a life with God forever. Praising God throughout life makes a statement in that belief. We praise God for what he has done and is doing now in life. In his activities, we can experience his eternal nature and can gain more and more reasons to believe that we will live with him forever.
Take time to praise God now. How can you make this praise a daily habit? How does your praise reinforce your faith in an afterlife?