Whatever your personal goals may be for the new year, I’d like to share four Biblical keys we can all apply in 2018. Interestingly, these insights come from a text written by the psalmist David about three thousand years ago, yet they remain very relevant today.
In the opening of Psalm 9, David makes several distinct “I will” statements: “I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (v. 1-2). He shared four specific actions he deliberately planned to take, and we should purpose in our hearts to do the same!
1. “I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart” (v. 1). David wanted to praise the Lord, and we certainly should as well! There are always many reasons to praise Him if we’ll just stop to reflect on His blessings. David noted he would praise “with my whole heart,” meaning his praise would be genuine, not half-hearted. Praising “with my whole heart” also means that even in a position of despair, disappointment, or confusion, you still praise – even from the depths of your heart. Indeed, let’s offer our own praise to God that is sincere and with the whole heart.
2. “I will tell of all Your marvelous works” (v. 1). Beyond offering praise to God, David also wanted to tell other people what God had done for him. I must admit that I don’t tell others about what God does for me as often as I should. You see, there is power in testifying for the person hearing and the person telling. Whether your testimony seems big or small in your own eyes, go ahead and tell someone. It will be a blessing to them AND to you!
3. “I will be glad and rejoice in You” (v. 2). David definitely had his ups and downs, and though his life wasn’t perfect, he declared, “I will be glad.” You see, David had to make a choice to be glad, and we must make the same decision. No matter what is going on around us, we always have reason to be glad if we have a right relationship with Jesus. It’s difficult to be led by the Spirit if we’re in a state of anger or frustration, so be glad instead. But know that true gladness is more than a shallow “don’t worry, be happy” kind of attitude. It’s a resolve to “rejoice in You.” We can’t always rejoice in our circumstances, but we can always rejoice in our Lord!
4. “I will sing praise to Your name” (v. 2). David already declared he would praise the Lord, but now he proclaims he will SING praise. There is something powerful about singing praise. Yes, that means not just saying it or even telling it, but singing praise. You may be thinking, “Well, I’m not a singer,” but that really doesn’t matter. This is just one of many references in the Bible about singing praises to God. So, go ahead and sing to the Lord today!
One final key to realize about these “I will” statements is the “I” part. Nobody can do these four things for you. So declare, “I will praise God, testify, be glad, and sing praise in 2018.” You’ll be blessed when you do.