One of my favorite portions of Scripture is Psalm 34, especially verses 1–3. “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble shall hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!” (ESV)
My fascination with this Psalm lies in David’s determination to bless (praise, salute) the LORD no matter what. So many times, we allow our emotions to influence our praise, but here we see the psalmist making the conscious decision that he would bless the LORD at all times, the two important phrases being “I will” and “at all times.” We cannot always trust our emotions. There are times when it feels like we are passing through endless valleys, and that may be true for some, but even then, we can resolve to praise the LORD. To praise or not to praise is a decision that we make. When and how often we praise are also decisions that we make. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing external to you has any power over you,” and once we realize this, we will also realize that there is nothing or no one that can stop our praise but ourselves.
We cannot afford to be “situational praisers.” True worshippers see praise as an offering to God for who He is, despite their circumstances. It is a celebration of His attributes. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David wrote, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150).
I am with David. “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the LORD’s name is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3, KJV). So come and “magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Praise ye the Lord!