Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

As you read this today, it’s possible your soul really is saying, “Praise the Lord!” It’s possible that you feel like praising Him today. For many of you, though, that is not how you’re feeling. It’s nearly Christmas. Maybe life has gotten crazy, and the people you count on seem to have gone crazy, too. Maybe your family holidays are more messy than they are a blessing. Any other time of the year, social media feels like a pretty good place to find some space with friends. But not at Christmas time–it seems to be overrun with other people’s Christmas photos of their happy-looking families.

You can probably add a dozen other examples of what makes it hard to praise the Lord. In the face of these disappointments, “Praise the Lord!” can be hard to find.

Psalm 146 reminds us of something we know but often forget: earthly princes always disappoint. Think of a prince as someone you hold in high regard. Maybe the princes in your life are your family, or friends, or a significant other. These princes are bound to disappoint, they won’t live up to your hopes.

“Praise the Lord! … Put not your trust in princes… in whom there is no salvation.”

You may think you don’t have a “prince,” but what rattles your praise reveals your prince. We all have disappointing princes, and we’re all tempted to let those disappointments rattle our praise. Isn’t it ironic that during advent, when we’re waiting to celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace, our praise is rattled by disappointing princes?

Let this be an encouragement to you: the Prince of Peace will never rattle your praise, He will never truly disappoint. The Psalm says, “The Lord will reign forever…” The Prince of Peace reigns forever–His rulership is real when friends are fake, He is present when family is distant.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob…
who keeps faith forever…
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down…
he upholds the widow and fatherless…
The Lord will reign forever…
Praise the Lord!

When Christmas comes, we celebrate and praise our new Prince. He is a Prince in whom our trust is safe. With our trust in the Prince of Peace, our praise can remain–even in the face of disappointment.

Dear Jesus, remind me to look to You alone as my Prince of Peace. Thank You for Your kind rule in my life. When I am disappointed, draw me into Your peace and teach my heart to praise You. Amen