Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord – Psalm 150:6
Renowned Theologian Walter Brueggemann notes that Psalm 150 is a fitting conclusion that compliments the introduction of Psalm 1. The initial exhortation to remain obedient to God, concludes with a life of unencumbered praise.… In this light the expectation of the Old Testament is not finally obedience but adoration. (Message of the Psalms, p. 167).
Nurturing a heart that truly praises God for His goodness and mercy is crucial to overcoming the struggles of sin and persecution. Without praise, streams of living water can quickly turn into stagnant pools of bitterness. Bitterness has no place in heaven (Rev 8:11).
Praising God should not only be reserved for times of blessing. Our earthly journey is one marred with sin. The Corporate aspect of sin effects all of us. Cancer is a reality born of the consequences of a fallen creation. The murderer’s disposition is not one of love or compassion, neither is that of the religious hypocrite judging others. Believer or not, we all experience sin’s universal effects in our lives.
In such an environment a heart continually praising its Creator perseveres. The Apostle Paul knew this when he wrote ‘Give thanks in all circumstances this is God’s will for you’ (1 Thess 5:18). In other words.. God is good – all the time. Even when life seems hopeless, God remains good. He has not turned evil or abandoned you so continue to praise Him.
After receiving a severe flogging, Paul and Silos found themselves imprisoned in an ancient dungeon. How did they respond? With songs of praise (Acts 16).
Today in an era of instant gratification, self edification and materialism one can only imagine the bitter lament we may have offered as an alternative to praise. With such a response would God have sent an earth quake to free us also?
True character perseveres under trial. Praising God in all circumstances helps lift our focus above our earthly trials, and thus retain a heavenly perspective. Eternity is yours. Be joyful, praise God with everything you have. In dance and music, with all your passion, give your Creator praise. He Himself gave all to save you. He alone is worthy of your complete adoration.
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