At All Times
by Inglis Fleming
“I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Yes! Always! Whatever the times may be. However changes may come. “At all times,” always, everywhere. Day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year.
How can a saint reach this condition of heart and spirit? In the midst of a world of difficulty and trial is it possible to wear always the garment of praise instead of having the spirit of heaviness?
Perhaps we may answer these questions by turning to one or two other scriptures where the expression “At all times,” is found.
First of all let us think of how Christians are
LOVED “AT ALL TIMES.”
Proverbs 17:17 tells us, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Evidently times of testing and trouble are in view. Adversity rather than prosperity are indicated in the verse. Who is the “Friend” who loves “at all times?”
On the wall of my room in a house where I was entertained hung a motto card. The words upon it were
“A friend is one who knows all about me
and loves me just the same.”
That card gave me food for thought. Who knows all about me? I asked myself. Who knowing all about me would love me just the same? I enquired next.
The answer to those queries was not difficult. Many friends have I known among “the excellent of the earth.” Innumerable have been the kindness shown by these. Great has been my joy in their company. But has any one of them ever known all about me? Could any one of them know all about me? Nay, I do not know all about myself. If any one knew all that I know of myself, would he, could be, love me “just the same?” I trow not.
Then does such a friend exist?
Yes! The Lord Jesus, the Friend of sinners, is such a friend, and He has shown Himself friendly by suffering for my sins, by dying for me at Calvary.
He it is who knew all about me, who knows all about me today. He loved me when He died for me, and He loves me now, and lives for me. He loved and loves me just because He would love me, and because He chooses to love me now.
What deep joy it is to know such a Friend! What heart-rest to know that He loveth “at all times!” For by Him we are
MAINTAINED “AT ALL TIMES.”
Solomon, in his prayer at the dedication of the temple, prays that “the Lord our God, day and night,” might “maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel at all times as the matter shall require” (1 Ki. 8:59).
And “Israel’s God is ours.” “Night and day—as the matter shall require,” He maintains our cause. Unceasingly He watches over us in all our journeying. He has reserved for us an inheritance in heaven and preserves us while on our way to it. “As the matter shall require” He maintains us with consummate wisdom and unchanging love. We make discoveries of ourselves, of the folly of our hearts, of the sinfulness of the flesh, and of our proneness to wander from Him and from His way. But He maintains our cause. Knowing all about us, what we were before we came to Him, what we have been since that happy day, what we may be yet but for His grace, He “loves us just the same,” and loving us upholds our interests and keeps our feet.
He is our Advocate, our great Priest. We are in His heart of affection, and on His shoulders of strength, and He ever intercedes on our behalf.
“Happy is that people that is in such a case; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord” (Ps.144:15).
Knowing His heart of love and His hand of power and His ceaseless interest in us and ours, well may we have confidence in Him, and be found,
TRUSTING “AT ALL TIMES.”
“Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us” (Ps 62:8).
David who wrote these words knew well how secure, a shelter in times of stress and storm, God was to him. If we recall but one instance we shall see how he has proved this. At Ziklag he had relied on God alone, and had not found Him wanting. David’s city had been burned, his property had been stolen, his loved ones had been carried away captive, his followers spoke of stoning him. What could he do? Where could he turn “David was greatly distressed . . . but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam. 30:6).
Circumstances hardly could have been more distressing around, the future was threatening indeed, but David knew the God who had called him to His service, and stayed his heart upon Him.
“Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest,
Finding in His promise perfect peace and rest.”
And Jehovah-God intervened on David’s behalf, and “David recovered all,” and much “spoil” fell to his share as well.
So it has ever been with those who fear the Lord. He cares for His own. “In all generations” He has been their “dwelling place.” “From everlasting to everlasting” He is God (Ps. 90:1-2).
And He it is who has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Answering His comforting words we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Heb. 13:6). Blessed conversation this!
Our God delights in our confidence being placed in Him. It is this which David expresses in Psalm 31:19, “Oh, how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men.” He reserves His goodness for them, He works for those who make their refuge in Him in the sight of the godless around.
Knowing the love of God revealed in Christ and at Calvary, we trust Him; trusting Him, we love Him; loving Him, we adore Him; and so it is that we may be found
BLESSING “AT ALL TIMES,”
His praise continually in our mouths.
And our praise and worship are His delight as well as His due.
“The Father seeketh such to worship Him.” He is “a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” To find such worshippers for the Father, the Son of God came into the world, and became the “one offering” for our sins at the cross, that our consciences might be cleansed from every stain by His blood, and that we might draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, and offer from grateful hearts the praise that glorifies Him.
May we know more and more what it is thus to worship inside in the holiest, and to witness outside in the world, until He who shall come will come. And He has said, “Surely I come quickly.”
Help and Food 1928