Praise is the expression of approval and adoration. When we praise, we glorify, we worship, we celebrate, we exalt, and we bless someone or something.
The question is, “When we praise, to whom are we directing our praise?” As Christians, out of all of the things on earth and in heaven, we should recognize God our Creator and our Lord, and we should direct our praise to Him. He is the One who is deserving of our praise.
We should praise God for His unending mercy, for His many spiritual blessings, and for His kindness to us, because He is good and His mercy is everlasting. But too often, our daily struggles or constant life demands can crowd out our praise to God.
Sometimes we may not feel like praising Him. At other times we may be struggling or are weary and we just don’t praise Him. Still other times, we may feel as if God has let us down, so we decide that He does not deserve our praise. Or sometimes it may feel as though He is far away and does not really care about what is troubling us. The painful blows and losses in life may have sent us spiraling down to the point where we neglect to praise Him.
The Power of Praise
When we make a decision to fix our eyes on Jesus, and daily give Him praise, no matter what is staring us in the face, we will begin to see the struggles lose their grip over us. There is power in our acknowledgment that God is worthy of our worship and praise. And as we press close to Him, our hearts become more in tune with our Creator and King.
Here are a few reasons why we should praise:
• Praise gets the focus off of ourselves and directed back to God. He wants our eyes to be set firmly on Him, because that is where true hope is found. God is worthy of our praise, no matter what we face from day to day. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”—Psalm 121:1, 2 (NKJV).
• Praise brings us to a place of humility. When we are humble, we remember our dependency on God and we acknowledge our need for Him. In our humility we recognize that He is in control. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up”—James 4:10, NKJV.
• Praise causes the enemy to flee. Evil cannot stick around if we are praising God, who will fight our battles for us. James 4:7, KJV, says: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
• Praise leaves no room for complaining and negativity. Through praise, we are focused on God, no longer allowing too much attention to be centered around our struggles. It is good to remember what He has already done for us. He already knows what concerns us, and can take care of all that burdens us. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy”—Psalm 103:2-4, NKJV.
• Praise opens the way for God’s blessings over our lives. As we come into the presence of our King, He will not hold back His goodness. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations”—Psalm 100:4, 5 (ESV).
• Praise invites His presence, and our spirit is refreshed and renewed. God dwells close to us when we praise Him and we are strengthened by His peace. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”—Psalm 14:27, NKJV.
• Praise paves the way for God’s power to be displayed. People’s lives are affected and changed when they praise. “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”—Psalm 16:11, NKJV.
• Praise shared through our testimonies serves to encourage others. Telling of God’s goodness has a way of helping to lift the spirit of others.
Today, we are living in uncertain times. Every one of us has been affected in one way or another by the virus. Perhaps you know someone who has lost their job. Maybe you are among those who lost homes. It may be that you contracted the virus and survived. Maybe you know someone who contracted the disease and did not survive. This is just one of many challenges people face every day, but it is up to us to decide how we want to handle what comes our way.
Praise Is a Choice
We have a choice every day in this life. We can choose to live our lives absorbed in worry and stress. We can choose to ask God to help us take our eyes off all that may be swirling around us. We can also choose to look to Him, the One who holds it all together, the One who holds us in the palms of His hands.
God desires our whole heart. He desires our praise. He longs for us to acknowledge the power of His presence over our lives. He desires to bless us more than we could imagine. His Spirit urges us onward, calling us closer.
Every day, we should take Psalm 150 to heart and make it a part of our daily experience, especially through these difficult times. “Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”
So, Why Should We Praise?
We should praise because we know the end of the story! “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’ ”—Revelation 21:1-4, NKJV.
To all who are reading this today, take Jesus’ words to heart: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”—John 14:1-3, NKJV.
Every chance you get, praise the Lord. In good times and bad, praise the Lord. In sickness and health, praise the Lord. With or without a job, praise the Lord. Let every thing that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.