The following was written in 2011 following an unsuccessful attempt to resolve conflict on one of our teams, a painful event with a sad outcome.
Psalm 34:1 “I will extol the LORD at all times;”
[Even now, in the midst of this painful failure, in darkness and despair, I will extol you, Lord, I choose to praise you, the great and sovereign God who is at work doing what is right, bringing good in every situation. You, Lord God, are worthy of worship even in the worst of circumstances, humanly speaking–for you do not abandon us. You press on in spite of the pain you suffer with us. You are faithful to the end, and therefore worthy of all exaltation.]
“his praise will always be on my lips.”
[Always, no matter what happens, in every difficulty, every hardship, every form of suffering, failure and evil, I can praise you and I choose to do so. You, Lord God are good, through and through. So what you do is good, what you allow you will use for good for your children, bringing breaking and transformation.
Lord God, do good in this situation. Have us suffer as long as is necessary; may we learn what we need to and go through what you know is necessary, with your power and strength.]
Psalm 34:2 “My soul will boast in the LORD;”
[If I am honest, there is nothing to boast about in myself, I can only boast in you, Lord Jesus, the perfect One, the pure One, the holy One who never makes a mistake, never fails. To you certainly belongs honor, praise and worship. You are the One to boast in, not myself.]
“let the afflicted hear and rejoice.”
[In this case I am afflicted, beaten down, a failure, but as I think on you, Lord, I can rejoice in you.]
Psalm 34:3 “Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.”
[This is the purpose for which I was created, Lord: to bring you honor, praise and exaltation. In this situation, I honor you by faith, clinging to you, Lord, and to your truth, praising you for what you are doing–what I can’t see or understand yet. To trust brings you glory.
I will focus on this now, Lord, giving you praise for how you are working things out. At present there is only total failure and loss from my perspective, but also the opportunity for giving great glory to you as by faith I rest in your wisdom and grace, offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving.]