Psalm 111 (NRSV)
Verse 1Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Verse 2Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
Verse 3Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
Verse 4He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
Verse 5He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
Verse 6He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
Verse 7The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
Verse 8They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
Verse 9He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.
Verse 10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
While golfing, a friend of mine was lamenting one thing after another about his golf game. Jokingly I said, “Ok, Eeyore,” recalling the pessimistic, gloomy, stuffed donkey in the Winnie-the-Pooh books. Negative self-talk in golf often leads to poor golf shots. Negative self-talk in life often leads to a gloomy, pessimistic attitude about life.
Psalm 111 is bursting with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving to God. Everything from God’s grace and love to the food that God daily provides for us. The psalm ends with this word of wisdom: “The good life begins in the fear of God—Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God.” (The Message) Fear of God is acknowledging God as the source of our life and insight for understanding life itself. The good life was never assumed to be free of troubles and problems. We all have our Eeyore moments. But the good life God has to give us begins with nurturing our relationship with God. Focusing on things to give thanks for is how we share in the blessings of God.
Giving God, help us grow in understanding our relationship with you. Fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise for this life you have given us. Amen.