Welcome Tidings

by Arthur Pink
August, 1948
 

The newspapers record the deeds of men, and sad reading they make; the less time we devote to their soul-defiling contents the better for our good. The saint should be constantly occupied with the doings and dealings of the Lord. The more he is so, the more will faith be strengthened, the heart lifted above this sinful scene, and the soul drawn out in thanksgiving and worship unto God.

It is one of the marks of the low spirituality which now reigns among Christians, that songs of praise are so rarely upon their lips. Only too often there is little to distinguish their conversation from that of the poor worldlings. When one believer meets another, instead of alluding to the weather or making reference to the political or international situation, he should say, "O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!" (Psalm 34:3). Instead of talking about your trials and troubles, tell of the Lord's mercy and faithfulness to you: thereby He will be honored, and your hearer cheered and edified.

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:8). That "Oh" is a note of exclamation and astonishment, expressing the ardor of the Psalmist's spirit. Three times more he uses the same language in that psalm. He was troubled at the abounding ingratitude and cold indifference of those around him, and his interjection should startle and shame many of us today. God has expressly bidden us to "praise him for his mighty acts" (Psalm 150:20). While He is to be highly extolled for what He is in Himself, over and above all His blessings yet He is also to be acknowledged and adored for His wonders in creation, providence, and grace. "One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts" (Psalm 145:4).

It is fitting that we should magnify Him for what He has done for us. "While I live will I praise the LORD!" (Psalm 146:2): let that be the determination of every Christian reader.

"A very wretch, Lord, I should prove, had I no love for Thee;
 rather than not Your praises sing, O may I cease to be."

As one of the lesser-known Puritans said, "We read of the saints having harps in their hands, the emblems of praise. But though many have tears in their eyes and complaints on their lips few have harps in their hands, blessing and glorifying God." (Thomas Watson, 1620-1686).

We might think it almost incredible that of the ten lepers cleansed by Christ, only one returned to give glory to God; yet observation shows it was sadly true to life.