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O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure

When we think about all the wonderful things the Lord has done, it’s pretty easy to make the decision to worship the Lord. God wants our worship to be filled with thoughts and remembrance of God’s great work, not only an emotional response” (David Gusik: A Study Guide for Isaiah 25)

When we are caught up in the pressures and stresses of life, often we find ourselves brought low. When all we see is the never ending cycle of work, bills, appointments, other people’s expectations of us, it’s easy to feel burdened, anxious and trapped. Our focus becomes so centered on what we have to do to get through the day that we forget the wonders around us.

There’s a poem that talks about being thankful for dirty dishes because it means we have food to eat. It’s all about finding the blessings in life, which is easy to miss when we allow ourselves to get distracted by the day’s demands.

This verse is talking about praising God for the things He has done. It’s not just the “little things,” although we certainly should praise Him for all the blessings He gives. Here it speaks of “plans formed of old.” This immediately brings to mind the greatest blessing of all – that of His Son. Go back to the beginning  of the world, to the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Already He had made plans to redeem man (Gen 3:15). That plan is promised time and time again and is eventually brought to fruition when the Son of God “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:6-8)

His plan was to save us, to offer us – not force us to take, but offer us – eternal life and rest. Salvation. Allow that to sink in. Allow your mind to shift focus away from the day and all it brings to His great work. When you do that, regardless of the problems and stress you face, how can you not sing? How can you not offer praise?  “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps 8:9)