Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

For most of my career I provided an intangible service to the business community. It was so esoteric that people couldn’t tell what it was even when it was described to them. It was variously called consulting, people development, or productivity improvement, but even those descriptors were too vague and general to shed much light. What’s more, it was custom tailored to meet the specific needs of each client, so it really had to be experienced to be understood.

To help persuade new clients to use our service, I began using letters of recommendation I had received from past clients in approaching new ones. In these letters clients spoke of the benefits they had enjoyed from the service I provided them. They described how my company had outperformed their expectations of us, how we were thoroughly professional, always meeting our commitments, and how our service had paid for itself many times over. Often these letters were from someone the prospective client knew, either as a friend or competitor, so they carried the added influence of the relationship. They helped give prospective new clients the confidence to put us to work in their companies, even though most of the time they didn’t really know what we were going to accomplish for them.

If the Lord ever needed such a letter to convince someone to follow Him, Psalm 145 would serve the purpose well. But I think the Lord had David write it for a different purpose. I think it was written to folks who should know what the Lord can do, because we’ve seen Him do it … for us. So while I think this Psalm would make a great letter of recommendation, it was really meant to be a letter of affirmation. After all, it’s not non-believers who read the Bible, but believers.

Affirmations have been defined as self-talk, positive statements designed to bring about the desired state of mind. Some are just fantasies. For example, a friend of mine, a tennis buff, used to brag, “I can beat any man in any land, at any game that you can name, for any amount that you can count.” Obviously that statement isn’t true and never will be, but he claimed that saying it before a match gave him more confidence.

But some are not just fantasy. The Bible contains many affirmations. Philippians 4:13 is a good example. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Psalm 37:4 is another. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.” These are legitimate affirmations, statements made in times of doubt that would otherwise be true. In other words, the only variable in the statement is our willingness to believe it. Psalm 145 is such an affirmation. There’s nothing about it that requires a stretch of the imagination to believe. It’s a statement that’s inherently true and varies only with the faith of the reader. It commends itself to our frequent reading.

When we’re on top of the world and nothing can get us down, we don’t need affirmations to strengthen us. They’re for when we’re beaten up and battered down. The Lord anticipated these times and placed powerful affirmations in His word to help us restore our faith to carry on.

When things are at their worst, we have the right to “Be joyful always,” (1 Thes. 5:16). When we’re in the pits we can “Be made new in the attitudes of our minds.” (Ephes 4:23) and “Rejoice in all things” (Phil 4:4). When we’re really disappointed with our selves, we can “Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6) And when we’ve really embarrassed the Lord by our behavior we can know for certain that “I am with you always, even to the very end of the age,” (Matt. 28:20) and be persuaded that “Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

Learning and repeating these and other Biblical affirmations gives us the confidence to put Him to work again in our lives, even though most of the time we don’t really know what He’s going to accomplish through us. For “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what the Lord has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor 2:8-9) Got the idea?