I don’t know what’s on your heart today, what problems or dread you had upon waking, but I want to remind you that because the Lord chose it, you did wake up this morning. Not everyone did. As you keep that in mind, let’s look at the first three verses of Psalm 34. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. Exalt the Lord with me, and let’s exalt His name together.” (Ps 34:1-3)

Like I said, I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but I do know what was going on in David’s life as he wrote this psalm. David was running for his very life from Saul. In fear he acted insane to keep from his real identify from being found (1 Sam 21). You very well could have much on your mind, just as David did. But David was a man after God’s heart (1 Sam 13:14), and he chose to bless the Lord, praise His name continually, boast only in the Lord which he shared with the humble, and asked others to exalt the Lord’s name together. This man in all in his struggles put together and prayer and praise meeting!

No matter what the situation, David chose to praise God. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (v1) This is the most prominent source of the scriptural concept of a writer’s praise for the Lord being “on my lips.” As we already said, David had experienced deliverance by the Lord from the Philistines at Gath and praised the Lord for that deliverance. However, he was determined to praise the Lord in every situation. The Lord is good all the time. Whether a given moment is difficult or delightful, we ought to praise the Lord. Even in dire circumstances we can see His hand of grace and mercy. He comforts us in our sorrow, and He helps us withstand every adversity.

Paul wrote to the Philippian believers, while under house arrest and constantly chained to a Roman soldier, that he regarded his adversity as serving to advance the gospel (Phil 1:12). Not only did he rejoice in prison (Phil 1:18), but he also called upon the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4), just as David did.

David was known as a great warrior, however, he remained humble; he didn’t boast in his victories or escapes, but boasted in the Lord, and encouraged the humble to hear his praise of the Lord and rejoice. “My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice.” (v2) The apostle Paul wrote that God had chosen the low and despised so no human being might boast (1 Cor 1:26-31). He said, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31).

The Bible places a high value on believers joining over matters of truth and goodness (Ps 133:1; John 17:20-23; Eph 4:1-6; Phil 2:1-11; 1 Cor 1:10-17). So it shouldn’t surprise us that David sought to praise the Lord and give Him the honor and glory on He deserves: “Exalt the Lord with me, and let’s exalt His name together.” (v3)

Acts 2:42-47 describes the togetherness of the believers at Jerusalem as they bonded together to form the earliest congregations of the Christian church. They shared their goods and money. They attended the temple together. They broke bread together, and they praised God together. When the Jewish council released Peter and John, the two apostles went to their friends and told them what the chief priests and elders had commanded them. Then, when their friends had heard it, “they raised their voices to God with one mind” and prayed (Acts 4:23–31).

As we’ve been saying for several days, in order for our fervent prayers (James 5:16) to be effective, we must learn to enter into the presence of God with a grateful heart, no matter what we are going through in life. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Ps 100:4)  We are called to “rejoice with those who rejoice” (Rom 12:15) and to “consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb 10:24-25)

It’s not always easy in hardship to keep praise for the Lord ever on our lips, bless His name, boast only in Him, and exalt His name, and encourage others to join us in our exaltation, but it’s what we’re called to do and why we are called to encourage our fellow brethren. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18)