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Praise Is Life


In the early 1970s, Charles Colson rose to political power as Special Counsel to the President of the United States. But all of that came crashing down when he was indicted in the Watergate scandal. After being sent to prison, Colson came to faith in Christ. Of that experience, he wrote, “My greatest humiliation—being sent to prison—was the beginning of God’s greatest use of my life; He chose the one thing in which I could not glory for His glory.”

David’s life followed a similar pattern. In Psalm 30 David recounts a time when he found himself in significant distress. He described being in the “realm of the dead” and on his way down “to the pit” (v. 3). Most commentators believe he experienced a serious illness. Upon reflection, David realized his downfall was due to his arrogance. Pride had been his downfall. He cried out to the Lord for mercy, and the Lord answered his prayer (v. 2).

What is most interesting in this psalm is one of the reasons David asked God to heal him. He told the Lord, “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you?” (v. 9). For David, life and death were more than just physical states. To be truly alive meant to live in right relation to God. For David, life consisted of praising God. Death is described as a state where there is no longer any praise. There is no such thing as true life without praise. This is why David was so overjoyed at the Lord’s answered prayer. The Lord turned his “wailing into dancing” so that “my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord​ my God, I will praise you forever” (vv. 11–12).

Apply the Word

Often when the Lord answers our prayers, it can be easy to forget about the situation we were in. David models the importance of giving public testimony to the Lord’s work in our life. Has the Lord answered your prayer recently? Make a point to let that be known. You’ll give God the glory and can be a great encouragement to others.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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