Sunday, March 6, 2016

How To Praise the Lord at ALL Times

Think about this scenario for a moment: The storms of life are raging. You are feeling hopeless. It takes effort to just keep breathing. You are depressed, discouraged, disappointed, angry, or sad. Then you read Psalm 34:1 - “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” And, you think, “Bless the Lord at ALL TIMES? Praise Him CONTINUALLY? How can I praise the Lord through this? I just don’t feel like doing any praising.”

Settle your hearts, dear friends. Our praise of God should not be directed by our circumstances. We should praise God simply for WHO He is. So, when you praise the Lord, it doesn’t mean you are always happy about your circumstances. It’s not about jumping up and down with joy and excitement all the time. Did you know there are many different ways we can show our praise for the Lord?

So, let's define the word of the week: PRAISE
: to say or write good things about (someone or something) : to express approval of (someone or something) : to express thanks to, or love and respect for (God)
According to Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, words that are often used as synonyms with “praise” and help point to its meaning are: bless, exalt, extol, glorify, magnify, thank, and confess. In other words, praising God is calling attention to His glory, or giving Him the honor and respect He deserves, blessing His name even during our darkest times - simply because He is WORTHY of our praise.

Here are some ways, I found, we can praise the Lord in our difficult days. (By the way, this was the 2nd attempt to write this post. A computer glitch caused me to lose the first draft and I had to start all over again. When it happened, I was not happy. I was frustrated and disappointed. But, even in my disappointment, I was still able to praise the Lord.)

WE CAN PRAISE HIM 
THROUGH OUR PRAYERS
Psalm 66:17- I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

According to The Pulpit Commentary, this verse means:  I was so confident of being heard that a song of praise was already in my mouth, on the point of bursting forth.

When we pray, we are praising God, or calling attention to His glory (even when we don’t feel very cheerful), because we are acknowledging our need for God and showing we want Him in our lives. So, even when we aren't happy about our circumstances, we can praise God through our prayers when we:

1. Cry out to Him - “God, I need you.”
SONG: I Need You Now - by Plumb

2. Tell Him how we feel - worn, worried, tired, afraid.
SONG: Worn - by Tenth Avenue North

3. Ask Him to carry us through.
SONG: Footprints in the Sand - by Leona Lewis

WE CAN PRAISE HIM 
THROUGH OUR MUSIC
Psalm 147:7 - Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. (NIV)

Psalm 149:3 - Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.

Sometimes, we just don't have any words to say, but we can still praise Him through music. We can do this by:
  1. Singing to the Lord (at least with our hearts, if not our voices).
  2. Focusing on the words when we listen to our favorite Christian music, or by playing it on a musical instrument.
  3. Dancing for the Lord.
SONGS:

WE CAN PRAISE HIM 
THROUGH OUR THANKS
Psalm 100:4 - Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Even when life is hard, we can thank the Lord for being there to help us through it, we can focus on the good things in life, and we can especially focus on the fact that HE is always good.
SONG: Good Good Father - by Casting Crowns
I pray this has been an encouragement to you, and that you will remember you CAN praise the Lord at all times as you go about your week. You can praise Him through your prayers, through your music, and through your thanks. Even on your difficult days, He is always worthy of praise, because He is a good God, and our circumstances don’t change who He is.  
MORE SONGS:
Praise the Lord - by The Imperials
Praise You in this Storm - by Casting Crowns
10,000 Reason (Bless the Lord) - by Matt Redman
A special thanks to my husband, David, for helping me edit this post.

1 comment:

  1. "to express thanks to, or love and respect for (God)" This totally can be even a "bad" situation.

    ReplyDelete

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