The Lord makes us strong!
What does that mean? Can I beat up the ones who want to hurt me? Does strength mean that I have skills to manage whatever crisis I find myself in? As I reflect on the history of the Church or the sweeping Judeo-Christian history, strong is not the first word I think of. Today, there are religious leaders in many groups for whom strength means that they can take advantage of those they work for. Strength is not necessarily a good word.
The psalmist seems to be calling the worshipers or pray-ers who are using this Psalm to be
praising God for all that God has done.
When we can look around and see God's hand or notice good things this kind of praise is not hard. But when things are not going well, when those around us seem stronger I certainly do not naturally revert to praise.
But it is important to realize as vs 4 notes, 'God has given us these times of joy.' I think when things are going fine God may be at the bottom of the list. But in the good, the easy, the abundant, the peaceful times, God needs to be at the top of the list.
I am trying to learn that when things are really awful, it is exactly then that God needs to be at the top of my list not to complain to but to praise for how God has delivered in the past vs 5, and that praise I think positions us to be ready for the blessings in the yuck moments of our now.