As I write this in October of 2022, Union Jack flags flutter in the breeze all over Britain. Many were first displayed in June to honor Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee and continue to testify of the queen’s longstanding popularity. After 75 years of faithful service, Queen Elizabeth died in September. I arrived in Manchester just a few days after the official mourning activities had been completed. As the plane touched down, I realized I had never been in the United Kingdom without having her on the throne.
Queen Elizabeth spoke fluently of her faith and often thanked those who prayed for her. In fact, during her first Christmas address in 1952, a speech she carefully wrote herself each year, she boldly made this request,
“Pray for me … that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.”
A Faithful Legacy
Queen Elizabeth dedicated her entire life to serving God and her country. She did so with grace and determination until her death. King David, the author of Psalm 21, served God and his country for much of his life. Both of these leaders continually recognized God as the one who set a crown upon their heads, and they both made a regular habit of honoring Him.
David wrote Psalm 21 as a celebration psalm following a time of war.
The King Rejoices in the Lord’s Strength
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! 2 You have given him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah (Psalm 21: 1-2 ESV)
Following the example in verse 1, how can I exult the Lord? Do I regularly celebrate what God is doing in my life? Do I share it with others?
Recently I heard a worship leader named Caleb Miller suggest that asking a new question of friends and family might cultivate a new attitude in our hearts. What if we asked everyone we saw what’s good?
Rather than the usual question, how are you? Asking about what good things you have witnessed lately could create a contagious attitude of gratitude.
David directs all the credit and honor to the Lord as the one who gives him strength and gives him his heart’s desires. If we could ask King David about what is good in his life, he would be ready to remember as he did in many of the Psalms.
3 For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head. 4 He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. 5 His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him. (Psalm 21:3-5 ESV)
David explains that God continues to meet him with rich blessings. The phrase, “you meet him with rich blessings,” brings a special occasion meal to mind. The table is set with fine china, crystal water goblets, and ornate silverware. A fantastic dinner featuring favorite foods is served. Music plays, and candlelight fills the table with a warm and welcoming glow.
God’s richest blessings for me are handcrafted and uniquely designed to nourish my unique needs. They are perfectly timed, even though I am unaware of the schedule. They are perfectly abundant, and they never stop coming my way. God’s richest blessings spring out of His abundance, not because I deserve them.
Lord, help me to look for and thank you for every rich blessing you send. These daily gifts provide for me in ways I may not even realize. Open my spiritual eyes to see them all so I can cultivate a grateful heart. Help me point out abundance, not lack.
God sets the crown upon each head.
Despite how things may appear, no one sits on a throne in this world who was not invited by God. The good, the bad, and the “not so wonderful” included. God places the crown upon the head of every leader. He uses them all for His purposes in ways we may never know or understand. No one is beyond the reach of God.
In a world where politicians and leaders act like toddlers, God’s ability to intercede brings peace and comfort. God operates in the eternal. His timing is not ours. So, we may witness terrible leaders in our lifetime. However, God will bring about redemption in ways we can’t imagine.
My Heart’s Anchor
6 For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad about the joy of your presence. 7 For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High, he shall not be moved. (Psalm 21:6-7 ESV)
What activity causes people to experience gladness? Parties, fame, luxury, power?
Spending time in God’s presence provides resilient joy not based on current circumstances. Carving out time each day requires planning.
What activity causes people to experience stability and not be moved? Money, power, or success?
Trusting in the Lord. My “trusting-God-muscles” must be exercised regularly, or I default quickly to self-reliance. Trust anchors my heart and keeps me from being carried off by the blustering winds of the world. I shall not be moved because God holds me tight.
Thank you that you invite me into your presence. Your presence is never too crowded or closed for repairs. I can always come to you and rest at your feet. Soul tending restoration occurs every time I go and stay.
Thank you, God, for holding onto me amid change and chaos. If I let go of You, You never let go of me. Strengthen my trusting muscles, so I may more and more deeply rely on You.
8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you. 9 You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them. 10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man. 11 Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed. 12 For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows. (Psalm 21:8-12 ESV)
Ultimately, God will bring complete justice to all of His enemies. He will destroy them and their descendants with fire. He will once and for all balance the scales of justice in His favor. Once and for all, evil will be vanquished, and suffering will be over for God’s people. Our limited minds and hearts can hardly begin to conceive this kind of final justice and peace.
13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power. (Psalm 21:13 ESV)
After the Lord has completed the restoration work, singing and praising will break out amongst His people. Spontaneous rejoicing will roll out over the new Heaven and new Earth. The praising God party will never end.
In the meantime, I believe God gives us glimpses of making things all new when we gather together and worship Him. The Holy Spirit reveals glimmers of the now and not yet kingdom to sustain us on our journey.
Lord, open my eyes and heart to see glimpses of restoration around me. Thank you for being the one worthy of our praise.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
To read more about Queen Elizabeth’s faith – see the article: