I will boast only in the Lord. (Psalm 34:2)
The world raises its glass and makes one toast after another to every imaginable thing under the sun. But for the believer, it is not a toast that we should be offering; instead, we boast in the only One who is worthy of our boasting!
I have nothing against offering a toast from time to time; but the life of the believer should be marked by boasting in the Lord. The psalmist David knew this truth. He did not raise his glass and toast to things smaller than his God. Instead, he raised his voice and boasted in his Lord. Nor did he boast about the things he did for the Lord; rather, David boasted about the things God had done for him.
The apostle Paul knew this truth too. Quoting Jeremiah, Paul wrote, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31).
To boast in anything other than God would be a bad thing indeed. To boast is to “puff oneself up in word” which is another word for pride, which is condemned throughout all the Scriptures. David and Paul were not encouraging us to engage in sinful boasting about oneself (braggadocio), as is the custom of the world we live in. Rather, they were exhorting us to give glory to God by boasting in His name—and not solely because of what He has done, is doing, and has promised to continue doing, but simply because He is God, who is worthy of our boasting! No one put this better than the prophet Jeremiah:
Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Have you been boasting in your Lord lately? Would those around you say that you are more likely to raise your glass to toast . . . or raise your voice to boast in the Lord? Remember, everything you have has been given to you, for it is God Himself who gives all men life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25). The more you have, the more you are in debt to the One who has given it to you. It is right to boast when we are boasting in our Lord. And the next time someone raises a glass to make a toast, perhaps you can raise your voice to make a boast in your Lord.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!