Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 40:4’

Recently I’ve been listening to Christian comedians on YouTube while exercising. They help distract me during this most distasteful half-hour of each day.

The best part of exercise: when it’s over.

So far I can recommend the antics of Tim Hawkins, Jim Davis, Kenn Kington, and Ted Cunningham to keep one entertained.

However, be forewarned: it’s impossible to do crunches while laughing.

Here’s a sample of Kenn Kington. Start the video, start crunching, and you’ll see what I mean.


No doubt you’ve heard some of the benefits of laughter that researchers have identified, including:

  • Decreased tension
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased feel-good endorphins
  • Renewed energy [1]

Laughter is good medicine, just as God inspired King Solomon to write eons ago (Proverbs 17:22). It also produces healthy servings of joy into our spirits.

But laughter isn’t the only action that produces health benefits and joy. So do gratitude and praise.

According to the Mayo Clinic, gratitude:

  • Decreases depression
  • Lessens worry
  • Improves sleep
  • Enhances immunity
  • Reduces chronic pain [2]

The ability to express gratitude and praise is a gift from God, intended to accomplish much good for mind, body, and spirit.

So what might we give thanks and praise to God for today?

A quick perusal of my gratitude journal provides the following possibilities that anyone can embrace:

  • Watching children on a playground, running, climbing, sliding, and whooping with glee—and finding my own glee expanded
  • Tackling a challenging project and reveling in the moment when it’s finally complete
  • Partaking a delicious meal with family and/or friends, enhanced by caring conversation, shared memories, and of course, laughter!
  • Marveling at the masterpieces of nature: the wings of a butterfly, the camouflage of a deer, the leap-and-grab abilities of a squirrel
  • Delighting in a bargain purchase that God surely provided (James 1:17)

Both of these practices, laughter and gratitude, will take us only so far into health and joy without one all-important element: faith.

When Paul wrote from prison to his dear friends at Philippi, he hoped to be released and visit them soon. His heart’s desire was to contribute further to their spiritual growth and to their joy in the faith (Philippians 1:25), considering its numerous benefits.

Which come first to your mind? See if your thoughts correspond with a few of these blessings:

  • God’s unfailing grace, compassion, and love
  • His inexplicable peace, comforting presence, and absolute strength
  • The wisdom of his Word to guide us through every situation
  • God’s promises that offer hope
  • His help that sometimes manifests itself in a surprising God-incident
  • His encouragement at unexpected moments through unexpected sources
  • The undeserved gift of eternal life yet to come

Researchers have also verified that faith in God also provides physical benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Enhanced mental health
  • Improved emotional health
  • Decreased depression [3]

It stands to reason, the stronger our faith in a God–who provides so much–the greater our contentment.

And when enthusiastic laughter, heartfelt gratitude, and praise-charged faith are part of every day, we’ll find ourselves overflowing with a sense of well-being and joy—an overflow that also impacts others.

[1] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm.

[2] https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/can-expressing-gratitude-improve-health#:~:text=Expressing%20gratitude%20is%20associated%20with,pain%20and%20risk%20of%20disease.

[3]https://www.bethesdagardensloveland.com/blog/the-health-benefits-of-faith#:~:text=The%20health%20benefits%20of%20faith%20have%20been%20a%20hot%20topic,reduced%20dependency%20on%20addictive%20substances and https://relevantmagazine.com/life5/surprising-links-between-faith-and-health/ and https://www.christiantoday.com/article/believing.in.god.is.good.for.your.health/27902.htm.

Photo credits: http://www.rawpixels.net; Nancy Ruegg; http://www.canva.com; http://www.heartlight.org; http://www.pexels.com (Sidney Lima); http://www.canva.com.

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No, that’s not a typo in the title; I intentionally chose rust. However, that parody on an old hymn actually did result from a typo years ago.

Steve was just a few months into his first pastorate in St. Petersburg, FL. The mean age of the congregation was somewhere in the 70s. When the church secretary typed the opening hymn title for one Sunday’s bulletin, ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, she accidentally omitted the “T” in trust.

But there was a whole lot of truth in that typo-title. Many saints of that congregation could testify, even into old age: “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust” (Psalm 40:4).


And just what might those blessings be? A few possibilities quickly come to mind. When we put our trust in God, we enjoy:

  • Peace of mind (Isaiah 26:3-4)
  • Guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • Help (Isaiah 41:10)
  • Strength (Isaiah 12:2)

But there are many more blessings that come to those who trust in God—some of which are quite surprising. The following is undoubtedly just a partial list:

Intimacy with God–not just acquaintance. The more we exercise trust, the more we recognize his involvement in our lives. With David, we can affirm: “All those who know your mercy, Lord, will count on you for help. For you have never yet forsaken those who trust in you” (Psalm 9:10).

Hope. Praise God for his hope that fills us with all joy and peace as we trust in him (Romans 15:13)! I can’t imagine going to bed at night without hope for tomorrow—much less for eternity.

Joyful Expectation and Quiet Confidence. Our lives are in the hands of an absolutely perfect, all-powerful, loving God. We can count on him to see us through every situation. So with great delight we can say, “I don’t know what God’s up to, but I know it has to be good!”


Life above the Fray. Like Paul, we can learn to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:12), knowing that God will give us the strength to endure (v. 13). A heart full of trust has no room for worry or stress. (Remind me of that when the challenges pile up, will you?)

Adventure. Think of the adrenalin rush these Bible heroes must have experienced, as they placed their trust in God:

  • Joshua fighting the battle of Jericho—with trumpets and loud shouts!
  • Elijah praying for fire to consume a drenched offering to God, in front of 450 prophets of Baal
  • Nehemiah watching the walls of Jerusalem reconstructed, after the Israelites had been held in Babylonian captivity for seventy years

Are we going to sit on the sidelines of life and miss the miracles, because we’re afraid to trust? Perish the thought!

Influence. The Light of Jesus shines most brightly through those who demonstrate trust in the midst of dark circumstances. People remember those saints who maintain a positive, faith-focused outlook in spite of trials.


For all these reasons and more, it is indeed sweet to (t)rust in Jesus–to rest secure in the loving, everlasting arms of our Heavenly Father.


*     *     *     *     *     *   *     *     *   *

I praise you, Lord, with all my heart,

for being a trustworthy God who never fails his children.

How glorious to know

I can trust in your unfailing love!

(Psalm 9:1; 13:5; 52:8)

Photo credits:  www.pinterest.com; http://www.pixgood.com; http://www.masterfile.com.)

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