Praise the Lord!
“Praise the LORD! I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people.” – Psalm 111:1 NLT
Have you ever had trouble finding things to praise God for? If you’re like me, you probably have no problem coming up with things to complain to Him about. It seems that there are always an abundance of issues we feel we need to bring to God that we are unhappy about or desire to have Him change. But why is it we can’t see to come up with much to praise Him for? The writer of today’s Psalms didn’t seem to have that problem. He virtually flowed with praise as he recalled all that God had done in his life and the corporate life of the people of God. He said, “How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in him should ponder them” (Psalms 111:2 NLT). That seems to be the key. We need to ponder and think about the things that God has done – take the time to dwell on all the great things that He has done and is doing in and around our lives. I must confess that this is something I don’t do enough.
The Psalmist dwells on every act of God – from the mundane to the miraculous. God is the one who divided the Red Sea and allowed the people to cross on dry land. But He is also the one who provides us with food each day. It seems that a byproduct of praising the Lord is a growing fear and reverence for the Lord. As we dwell on and recognize the many things He does that deserve our praise, we grow in our admiration of and reverence for Him. That turns into a more willing desire to obey and serve Him. “Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD. Yes, happy are those who delight in doing what he commands” (Psalm 112:1 NLT). And obedience brings blessing. In God’s grand economy, it seems that the more we praise Him, the more we end up being blessed by Him. As we praise God we discover just how incomparable He is. There is no one and nothing else like Him. Our praise of Him increases our admiration for Him. His worth increases in our eyes as we concentrate on all that He is and all that He does. But that takes time. It takes concentrated effort. It might be a worthwhile effort to regularly sit down and just write out all the things you have to praise God for. Make a list. Start with the simple, then move on to the more spectacular. When we begin to realize that NOTHING we have that is of any value comes from anywhere but Him, we just might begin to understand just how great He is and just how blessed we really are.
Father, forgive me for failing to praise You. I seem to have no problem complaining to You or demanding that You fix all my problems, according to my plan and my time frame. But then, even when You do, instead of praising You, I either take it for granted or take credit for it myself. Help me to see all that You do and praise You as You deserve. You are truly a great God and worthy of my praise. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men