Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
It is very interesting that this Psalm of praise and exhortation to praise starts off with this one-verse prayer. It is actually very helpful, because unless we are firmly focused on Whom we praise, we have the strange tendency to make praise to God be self-congratulatory, and end up praising ourselves for having the right religion. That is particularly a risk when we point out, as this Psalm does, the futility of other religions. This verse asks that glory go to God because of His love (the Japanese says grace) and faithfulness. There is recognition that all the good things that come to us, even those for which we might be praised, are because of God’s character. If He weren’t the loving, gracious, faithful God that He is, good things wouldn’t happen. When the world is as it is today, with bad news daily, it is perhaps easy to lose sight of who God is and what He is like. God has given mankind free will, and that too is a reflection of His character, no matter how horrible the results of human choice might be in the short run. When things seem dark, that’s the time to expect God’s light to burst forth. Frankly, current events have quite a Last Days feel to them, but that timing is in God’s hands. Our job is to let our faithfulness be a reflection of His, applying ourselves to the tasks He sets for us, so that the glory may indeed go to Him as His power and character are manifested in and through us.
This is of course fully applicable to me personally. I am at times tempted to go find a hole to hide in, but that benefits no one and nothing. I am to keep firm hold of the hope that I have in Christ, and when people are surprised by that, tell them why. (1 Peter 3:15-16) I am to remember that my task is faithful, trusting obedience; the fruit is God’s business. (John 14:5-8) God has been incredibly gracious to me, and I am to apply myself to the glory going to Him.
Father, thank You for who You are. That includes so much I couldn’t possibly express it all. Thank You for the people to whom You have allowed me to speak the past several days. With some, You have allowed me to speak in some depth about matters of life, death, and faith. I pray that Your words through me would indeed bear rich fruit in each heart and life, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!