Praise is not the norm today.
We are critical and judgmental. Our thoughts and, therefore, our words automatically turn to the ‘what’s wrong’ rather than ‘what’s right’ topics. We have been primed to see the negative and to blame someone for it. Not willing to be caught off guard, we attempt to spot the trouble before it spots us.
A person who focuses on good may seem a little abnormal, but abnormal can be a good thing.
Praise has power.
Throughout scripture, we are commanded (yes, I did say commanded) to praise the Lord, to give thanks, to be thankful people (Read Psalm 150). These commands, when obeyed, force our minds to the multitude of blessings in our lives. Praise does not ignore the problems, but it does recognize that God is more than the problems. Praise and thanksgiving remind the heart that the morning newscast is not the final word for the day.
Praise calls us beyond ourselves to see the power and the beauty and the love and the grace of God.
A quick perusal of scripture gives us example after example of the importance of praise. Here are just a few:
We praise based on Who God is. While many times we praise God for things that He has done or good things in our lives, our goal is to praise His innate character and being. Things do not always go the way we want them to in this life, but God is ALWAYS good, and merciful, and kind, and full of grace.
- Psalm 63: 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
- Psalm 96: 4 For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised:
- Psalm 117: 2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise ye the Lord.
Praise is a full-time job. Psalm 113:3 tells us to praise God from sunrise to sunset. Psalm 145:2 encourages us to praise Him every day forever and ever, and Psalm 119:62 has us rising at midnight to give thanks to God. I believe that is what Paul and Silas did when they were in the Philippian jail (Acts 16).
Praising God is a sign of a fixed, or stable, heart (Psalm 108:1), and it is an antidote to fear (Psalm 56:4). The verses in Philippians four remind us to keep an attitude of thanksgiving as we take our cares to the Lord.
- Philippians 4: 6 Be careful for (anxious about) nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Praise is a sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15, Psalm 116:17). This is because praise forces us to step away from our focus on the world and on the problem and set our eyes on God. Praise does not come naturally to us, but it results from our choice to trust God rather than the situation. This is hard, but this is a sacrifice that we offer to our Lord.
Praise is a sign of life. Psalm 115:17 tells us that the dead do not praise God, and in Isaiah 38:19 the prophet says the living praise God. If we can find nothing for which to praise God, we should probably check our spiritual life.
- Psalm 146: 2 While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
These are just a few of the many principles regarding praise that are in the Bible. Take a few moments to do your own search.
Or better yet, stop right now and praise God for His goodness.
Psalm 150 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
Photo – Montana Majesty, Beth Mims