I began my walk with God a little more than 27 years ago. There have been many highs and many lows along the way, but the vantage point of the years behind me provides me with great security for the years ahead.
As a young believer and seeker of His presence, my heart and mind were full of ambition and hope, yet obviously lacking experienced reality and understanding. As I came to experience the God of my salvation within the practical realities of daily life, I came to see Him differently. Vain ambitions faded away. Hope and faith strengthened. A knowledge birthed through personal and intimate experiences with God began to wash away the inaccuracies of youth. In short, the maturity process took place.
Among the most significant benefits of spiritual maturity is sight of the God who is worthy of our gratitude. The mature believer places less emphasis on his hopes and anxieties for the future and more on the certainty and faithfulness of a good God who watches over us. Things the young believer takes for granted become more recognizable, and the mature eye sees how the gentleness and grace of God cloak our lives.
Throughout the Psalms, we find this same pattern. Maturity and journey with God give us a greater sense of His faithfulness and more certainty through the experience of His care and love for our lives.
In Psalm 107, the Psalmist repeats this exhortation:
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalms 107:8 (NKJV)
And again, in Psalm 118:
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalms 118:1 (NKJV)
It is as if the Psalmist pleads with the listeners and readers, “Don’t you see? Don’t you see His goodness!”
Many times, we don’t. Not at first. We see our needs, our hopes, our ambitions, our anxieties. They fill our vision. As we grow and journey with God, the blessings of maturity begin to populate our lives. The desires of this world begin to dim, and at last, we see the beauty of His presence, His care, and His concern for us from the beginning. We become more full of faith and certainty because we see how good He is and how unimportant and unnecessary so many of our concerns are.