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Praise with an Upright Heart

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!” (Psalm 119:1–8, ESV)

Reading a psalm like this might not make immediate sense. It is possible for an overwhelming sense of discouragement to fall upon any reader, if read ignorantly. A stanza like this from the Scripture might only heap a burden upon your shoulders. 

So then how might it be read? What bits of information are necessary to be strengthened by these words? Can this manner of self-speak be beneficial for the follower of Christ? 

The answer is simple. These words are written by faith; therefore, it should be read by faith. David is the author, he had a keen sense of his own sinfulness. He was not considering his own perfection in these lines, and neither should we. There is a profound expression of faith in these phrases. 

David is expressing a manner of self-speak that grasps the walk of faith. He is displaying a heart seeking after God. He expressed a fixated gaze of faith. David dependent on the Lord, walked characteristically in the law, testimonies, statutes, commands, and ways of the Lord. It is known from the historical narratives of David’s life that this doesn’t mean he was without sin. Rather, it means that David had a heart after God. Faith characterized the walk of this man, not perfection in his own might. 

Meditate upon these verses this week. If you so incline, extend to the following verses. As you do, consider how you’re reading these verses. Consider what manner of encouragement you gain from speaking to your own heart in this same way.