The writer of Psalmist 71 was an incurable optimist; he was full of hope in God. He qualifies as one who had unshakable hope in God. For instance in Psalm 71: 5 he wrote, “For you are my hope, O Lord GOD; you are my trust from my youth.” (Psalms 71:5 NKJV). In one verse of the Psalm, he used the word “hope” and “trust” two similar words to describe his confidence in God. Why does he say God was his hope and trust? He explains in verse 6: “By you I have been upheld from birth; you are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of you.” (Psalms 71:6 NKJV). Because God upheld him from birth, he says he will continually praise him. The word, “continually” means “without interruption.” That means, the Psalmist praised God without interruption for upholding him through life. Three times, in the whole chapter the Psalmist used the word “continually.”
To confirm his unassailable hope in God, the Psalmist in verses 14 and 15 repeats himself. “But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of your righteousness and your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits” (Psalms 71:14-15 NKJV). Here we see the relationship between hope and praise. The Psalmist hoped in God “without interruption” and therefore praised God more intensely. It takes a lot of courage to keep on hoping in God no matter what the circumstances around us may be and in addition, to be unrelenting in our praise of him. Those who hope in God sustain their hope by praising God.
To hope in God continually, and at the same time praise him “more and more” indicates perseverance, resilience and unflinching trust. Why was this so with the Psalmist? Evidently, the Psalmist was grateful for God’s sustenance from birth. This was why he praised God more and more.
Second, he was grateful to God for making him what he had turned out to be. “I have become as a wonder to many, but you are my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with your praise and with your glory all the day” (Psalms 71:7-8 NKJV).
Third, he hoped and praised God more and more in anticipation of his upkeep in the future. In verse 9 he prayed, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails” (Psalms 71:9 NKJV). Again, he repeats this prayer in verse 18, “Now also when I am old and grey-headed, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come” (Psalms 71:18 NKJV).
Four, he hoped in God continually and praised him more and more because of the victories he expected from God. In verses 20-21 he wrote: “You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.” (Psalms 71:19-21 NKJV).
Those who hope in God live the life of constant praise. Proverbs 13:12 states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.” Praise is the antidote to despair. Through praise, we daily invigorate our hope in God.
Praise strengthens our hope in trial. Because the Psalmist had hope in God he lived in constant praise (Verses 8, 15, 22-24).