Psalm 33:1 (NLT) Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
It is “fitting” for the pure to praise the Lord. Fitting means suitable, appropriate, proper and becoming. Praise is not a natural response for the inward man. Praise is the act of expressing approval, admiration, and commendation born of a satisfied heart and grateful spirit. Are you satisfied today? Are you content? What if I told you that even if nothing changed in your life it is possible to live in total satisfaction and complete contentment – would you believe me? We are raised in a culture of immediate gratification. It is a dog-eat-dog world where trust is considered a weakness not a strength. Society is driven by supply and demand so attainment never leads to fulfillment because a new “thing” is introduced. This need for newness. This need for now. This lack of fulfillment has created a culture that does not know how to praise in the midst of constant pressure to conform to a standard that is always changing. The church is not immune. We have the opportunity to live in complete satisfaction and total contentment right here right now with exactly what we have and who we live with. We just have to figure out how to release it in our life.
Psalm 47:7-8 (NLT)
For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.
Praise puts God back on the throne of our life. When we voice our concerns over problems, troubles, trials and even enemies, they take the place of the Lord as the center of our life. It is boasting the power of the adversary than that of our Lord and Savior. It is perfectly natural to voice discontentment but not advantageous in the battle lived in. It tells the enemy of our weakness. It shows that the spirit of fear has overtaken the rightful place of the Holy Spirit our Helper in the midst of every storm. Jesus is our Savior. Call His Name and He most definitely will answer. BUT do you call Him Lord?
The economy has been tough. Layoffs and workforce reduction is common place. Companies force our workers before their retirement is vested to cut costs. Slash hours to keep from paying benefits. So naturally people talk about fear that they might lose their job or what will happen if they do – this confession tells the enemy that a person does not trust the Lord to provide for them so what happens? You lose your job. Of course! The enemy knows it is your weakness because you told him. But to those who know that God as Provider, it is not a pleasant thought to think of losing the job that produces income and pays the bills but considering God is in control – you just keep praising Him and thanking Him for your job that day and in that moment. We have to use our words to thwart the enemy’s advances on our life by constantly praising God throughout each day. Our God reigns. As long as I keep Him at the center of my life on the throne of it, I am going to have good outcomes and celebrate victory. Even if I did lose my job, it would not mean that I am not well-cared for. It means that if I am faithful and truly confident in the hope that I have – something better is coming.
Psalm 54:6 (NLT)
I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.
Praise is a voluntary offering. It begins with sacrifice. To abandon the five senses and go with what you know about God rather than what you feel in your gut is where it all begins. Life doesn’t change overnight for a believer. Yes, there may be immediate deliverance from some things but after that is a daily walk of faith that requires endurance for a reason. Some days are long and hard – just like that of an athlete training for victory or a soldier preparing to win a war. It is a fight to the finish against self that seem harder with each step. At some point maturity begins to kick in and people try out faith and decide to trust the Lord. With each small step closer by faith, when hope becomes confident and weighty enough to keep us standing when every falls apart, defiance holds on to that Word God gave us refusing to let go until it comes to pass, when the rubber hits the road – it is the time of turnover in our life. The moment that we decide to put our money where our mouth is and praise God like He is for real. It is in that moment that we become consumed by His Love and overpowered by His Goodness and our heart is totally apprehended by the awesomeness of God. In the natural, it looks a hot mess. But inside, the Lord is putting our heart, mind, body and soul in order preparing us for forever with the tiniest offering.
Psalm 9:1-2 (NLT)
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Praise is not naturally occurring but personally produced. We decide if we will praise God. This goes all the way back to Deuteronomy when God gives us the choice of blessing or cursing – life or death. “I WILL praise you Lord with all my heart!” I have to remind myself to praise God. I have monitor my words carefully especially considering that I exhaust more than 10,000 a day allotted to women. I must be conscious of my words and how they impact my harvest. If I want to the grass in my yard to grow – I would spray water and fertilizer on it not gallons of bleach.
Praise is always a choice. When our son was diagnosed with cancer, I had to decide if I would trust the Lord. With each relapse, I had to continue to decide if I would trust the Lord. Around the third time, I began to feel something settle in my spirit. We often withhold our praise not to make God look foolish if He doesn’t do what we think He is going to do. I told the world that God was going to heal our son according to His Word. I was committed to it. At some point, I went from saying to believing it. Praise confesses God’s Word over our life but we still have to wait on Him. Praise effects our heart and mind. It changes the outcomes of our life.
I have a friend whose marriage fell on hard times around the same time our son began his fight. We agreed to pray together in faith. My son was healed. The around the same time our results came in this week – her divorce became final. She loves her husband. She wanted to continue to be married. Now what? Did her faith fail? Did her praise fall on deaf ears? Why didn’t she win? Who’s to say that she didn’t? God hates divorce but He loves her. His Faithfulness did not stop. His Love is still real. Our outcomes do not determine our praise. Remember that third time I talked about just a minute ago when everything changed, it was the moment that I decided no matter how things turned out that I would still praise God for the rest of my life. I didn’t tell God that I would praise Him or serve Him or love Him IF He healed our son. I told Him I would praise Him, serve Him and love Him no matter what because He is my God! Sometimes this is the only thing we can do when we do not understand why our life doesn’t seem to be manifesting what we think God has for us. Trust me! He has forgotten and is still moving Heaven and Earth just for you!
Psalm 30:4-5 (NLT)
Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Praise does not mean that there will not be weeping, sorrow, pain or heartbreak in our life. It means it will not last forever and that all things will work together for our good because we love Him enough to trust Him, wait for Him and follow the Lord no matter what! Joy is coming! Favor belongs to you! It is ushered in our life through praise that says to the Lord, “You have my approval, admiration, and commendation.” It tells God you want His Will and His Way for your life. Praise fills the atmosphere around you with faith and hope that changes the environment in which we live making it prosperous as it begins producing all the good things that He has promised. Don’t abandon your field. Stop through acid on your crops. Fill it with good seed. (God’s Word) Cover it with fresh fertilizer. (Praise) Cultivate it with love. (Good Works) Flood it with His Spirit.
Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT)
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.
The walk of faith takes us farther than our natural ability. It is a place that feet may fail. Strength will wane. Hearts get weak. It requires something greater than self to endure this challenge to stand strong to the end. Praise becomes our refuge. It wraps our entire being all of our humanity incorporated with our spirit in the Love of God. His Love becomes our shield. Praise produces an impenetrable force field around our life that silences the mockers who think we are nuts, engages the saints to pray us through and memorizes the masses who are looking for a Savior who really saves. They want a real God with real purpose to make real changes in the dead and broken life. Trust me – it is not a place for those who care what others think. People think I am crazy and live in a pseudo reality. That’s fine. My question to them is how many mom’s do you know who have children who have had cancer five times, chemotherapy, massive doses of radiation, and a bone marrow transplant who one year later are alive and well in college. God has cured his cancer. He is continuously healing his body of the aftermath. He has provided everything this kid has needed along the way continuing even today. He had a 2% chance of survival. God said, “He would live and not die” on October 25, 2011. It has been confirmed on August 21, 2015. Do you think I am going to praise Him? I have been since the very first day. How do you think I made it through my heart being shattered all those times?
Psalm 34:1-3 (NLT)
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
Praise is not about who I think God is or what I want Him to do for me. It is about WHO He is and what He is doing in my life. I will praise the Lord at all times. This is easy when things are going well but when we decide to trust and believe that God is faithful enough to continue to speak His Praise in every situation – change will come, turnaround will happen and victory will come. What is your confession over your life today? I did not decide to praise God at all times until I had nowhere else to turn. How happen would it make His Heart if you decided to do so before tragedy strikes? My decision to praise the Lord was an act of survival. I needed the Lord to keep me standing and keep me breathing through the awful ordeal we faced. I was desperate. I was broken. I hate that our son ever had to experience such an awful disease, but I am not sorry for the brokenness that let my praise out!
Constantly and continually speak the praises of God over your life. Find your answer in His Word and speak it until it comes to pass. It has to come to pass because God does not lie or change His Mind and His Word NEVER returns void. It only fails if we abandon our post and don’t wait for it to come. God perfects our way and praise invites that change. You are not helpless – we have a Helper. Call on Him today? Rather than complaining and griping – thank Him for the solution that God is sending you today! God is faithfully pursuing you with unfailing love and goodness –praise opens the door and lets it come pouring in!
Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)
Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!