C. H. Spurgeon
"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens" (Psalm 89:1-2).
This psalm is one of the very choicest songs in the night. Midst a stream of troubled thoughts there stands a fair island of rescue and redemption, which supplies standing-room for wonder and worship; while the music of the words, like the murmuring of a river, sounds sweetly in our ears. Read the psalm carefully and it will rouse your sympathy, for he who wrote it was bearing bitter reproach, and was almost broken-hearted by the grievous calamities of his nation. Yet his faith was strong in the faithfulness of God, and so he sang of the stability of the divine covenant when the outlook of circumstances was dark and cheerless. Nor did he ever sing more sweetly than he sang in that night of his sorrow. Greatly does it glorify God for us to sing His high praises in storms of adversity and on beds of affliction. It magnifies His mercy if we can bless and adore Him when He takes as well as when He gives. It is good that out of the very mouth of the burning fiery furnace there should come a yet more burning note of grateful praise. I am told that there is a great deal of relief to sorrow in complaining; that the utterance of our murmurs may sometimes tend to relieve our pain or sorrow. I suppose it is so. Certainly it is a good thing to weep, for I have heard it from the mouth of many witnesses. Most of us have felt that there are griefs too deep for tears, and that a flood of tears proves that the sorrow has begun to abate. But the best relief for sorrow is to sing: this man tried it, at any rate. When mercy seems to have departed, it is well to sing of departed mercy. When no present blessing appears it is a present blessing to remember the blessing of the years gone by, and to rehearse the praises of God for all His former mercies towards us.
There are two sorts of songs we ought to keep up, even if the present appears to yield us no theme for songs: the song of the past for what God has done, and the song of the future for the grace we have not yet tasted-the covenant blessings held in the pierced hand, safe and sure against the time to come.
Brothers and sisters, I want you at this time to feel the spirit of gratitude within your hearts. Even though your mind should be heavy, your countenance sad, and your circumstances gloomy; still let the generous impulse kindle and glow. "Oh, come, let us sing unto the Lord."
It does not seem to me to be much for us to sing Gods praises in fair weather. The shouts of "Harvest home" are proper, but they are only natural. Who would not sing then? What bird in all the country is silent when the sun is rising, and the dews of spring are sparkling? But the choicest choir charms the stars of night, and no note is sweeter even to the human ear than that which comes from the bare bough among the abundant snows of dark winter. Sons of sorrow, your hearts are tuned to notes which the joyful cannot reach: yours is the full compass and swell. You are harps upon which the chief player on stringed instruments can display His matchless skill to a larger degree than upon the less afflicted. I pray He may do so now, by leading you to be first in the song. We must all of us follow, and some of us will not readily yield to be outstripped in this holy exercise. Like Elijah, we will try to run before the kings chariot in this matter of praise. Accounting ourselves the greatest debtors of all to the grace and mercy of God, we must and will sing loudest of the crowd, and make even
"Heavens resounding arches ring
With shouts of sovereign grace."
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad. and your heart shall live that seek God. For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein (Psalm 69:30-34).