Psalm 111:1-4

Praise the LORD!  I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.. Great are the works of the LORD; studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his  righteousness endures forever.  He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful.

This is such a picture of the work and being of the LORD (all caps LORD=YAHWEH!), and then our response to not only what He has done, but to who He IS. If you know God, you will praise Him! Why? This Psalm, along with many others, tells us why— His works are great, full of splendor (magnificence), majesty (nobility) and righteousness (goodness). It says that God is forever a great and good king! He is deserving of our praise. Do you give it? What about those hard times? What about those things that surround you with fear, or doubt, or loneliness, or even anger? Is it difficult or awkward to praise Him? Do you wonder if you really know Him? Here we are told that God’s works (contained in His Word) are to be studied—and He has made sure that they are remembered.
Let’s take a minute to study.

  • Praising in the hard times? (Count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds… James 1:2)
  • Struggles with and in this world? ([Jesus said] …”in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world”. John 16:33
  • How do you really know God? (Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

And then we get to REMEMBER. One of my favorite questions to middle school students while teaching a Humanities class was, “Is it a sin to forget?” An interesting question to students who are frequently reminded and counseled in ways to learn, memorize, and not forget! But is it a sin if you do forget? God knows our flaws and weaknesses- this isn’t about forgetting a math formula, or your lunch, or a dentist appointment—it’s about forgetting HIM! This is about forgetting what this Psalm tells us to praise Him for; remembering what He has done and who He is!

During those times of struggle—remember! And then praise Him! Praise Him with words, with songs, with dancing, with sharing… If you begin remembering, you will begin praising.

God, You are gracious and merciful. Your works are mighty and your righteousness is forever. Help me to remember what you have done throughout all generations and in my own life. And when I forget, bring memories, and your Word, back to me. May I praise you with my whole heart! Amen.

– Debby Ulle