Praise the Lord? I hope you won’t mind my being so transparent, but I don’t always feel like praising the Lord. Sometimes circumstances don’t encourage praise.
I’ve learned that even when circumstances aren’t favorable, God is still worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. We praise him according to his righteousness, not our circumstances (see Psalm 7:17).
Reading the Psalms, I discovered praise is a decision of the will. Listen to Psalm 9:1-2.
“I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart. I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee. I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.”
Praise, rejoicing, and thanksgiving are a decision of the will, unrelated to circumstances. The decision: I will be glad and rejoice in the Lord.
Here’s a great Bible study. Read through the Psalms, making a list of every mention of the good things the Lord has done. You’ll have a very long list to refer to when circumstances aren’t favorable and you’re struggling to find a reason to praise.
I made myself a “God is” list, using the Psalms. He is my shield, my refuge, my stronghold, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my support, my Savior, my Redeemer…and so much more.
I can praise him for this, no matter what’s happening—or not happening—in my life.
We set our minds to rejoice in him, even if we do it with a broken heart and tears.
Praise and thanksgiving build our confidence in awesome God, who is in absolute control.
Psalm 150:6 says, “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord…” Everything that has breath? That includes me. And there are no exclusion clauses.
I found my declaration of praise in Deuteronomy 32:3-4 (NIV).
“I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”
It’s easy for me to lose focus and live by feeling. For such times, I printed this reminder,
“Nothing but praise.” I framed it and placed it on my desk to help me maintain an attitude of praise in hard places.
If we offer praise and thanksgiving today, we do it in our present circumstances. We don’t wait until a future time when circumstances change.
When you don’t feel like offering praise, remember Psalm 57:7. “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.”
“Things looked bleak but Habbakuk declared:
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stall: Yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…” (Habbakuk 3:17-19).
I’m learning to rejoice by sheer determination of the will…because in hard places, I know God is doing something bigger than I can see.
Choosing to sing praise and give thanks, regardless of circumstances, is the fourth key to dispensing the sweet fragrance of Christ.
Have you made a decision to praise? Start with this declaration.
“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord” (Psalm 104:33-34).
I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment. And share this post with friends who might need encouragement today.
© Dianne Barker 2018 (reprinted)