Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 106:1 NKJV)
The Psalms have so many different kinds of poetry, but the one overriding theme in all of them is that we must praise God. There are many different reasons given. Sometimes we praise God in spite of the circumstances because we know that God still loves us and cares. In the opening verse of this Psalm we’re commanded praise God for two things: He is good and His mercy endures forever. How often we overlook the concept of goodness when we talk about God. We think of His mercy, His grace, and His forgiveness, but all of those actions stem from the fact that God is good. His nature is goodness. In fact, if we’re to believe Jesus, God alone is good. (Luke 18:19) Because He’s good, His mercy endures forever. It’s not a limited time offer. You don’t buy one and get one free. His mercy is always available to all people. That’s just one of many reasons to praise the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but far too often, I get in the prayer request mode and think of all that God can do. I forget why God can do that. He can heal, because He’s good. He can provide, because He’s good. He can forgive and show mercy, because He’s good. All of the things he can do stem from His inherent nature of goodness. Not only do we focus on God’s outward qualities instead of His nature, we do the same thing with people. We focus on their beauty, or their accomplishments instead of looking at their inner beauty and drive that make those accomplishments possible. Do two things today: 1) spend time meditating on the goodness of God and then praise Him for that goodness, and 2) compliment other people today not on their outward appearance or their success, but on their inner nature. What good qualities do they have as a person? It’s amazing what a difference we see in people when we focus on their character. It’s even more amazing what happens with our relationship with God when we focus on His character.
Oh Lord, You are good. Remind me of Your goodness today and help me rejoice in that.