From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised. Psalms 113:3
Today I want to talk about praise because I realised it’s something a lot of us struggle with; myself included. What is praise? Why should we praise God and when should we praise God?
What is praise? Praise is a declaration of who God is; it is exalting and celebrating God for who He is. “Praise is the sweet echo of God’s excellence in the hearts of His children. For His children, it is the summit of satisfaction that comes from living in fellowship with God” (John Piper).
When should we praise God? We should praise God when things are good, when things are bad, when there’s trouble on every side, when you’re broke, when you’re going under and you feel like you can barely breathe, praise God at all times. Philippians 4:4 says Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice.
- We should praise God because in His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalms 16:11). Often times, when I’m so low, I find that the moment I begin to thank God and sing His praises, I’m refuelled and feel strong like I can do anything. I’m reminded of all the reasons I have to be thankful.
- Praise God because He is worthy and deserving. He is the master of the universe, Yahweh, the Almighty God to whom all power in Heaven and on earth belongs to, He is our advocate, our provider, our fortress, a rock of defence, a shade of protection, a shelter in the time of storm, our father and a great friend.
- Thirdly, praise God because it makes room for more blessings. Have your parents ever given you something and you thanked them like there was no tomorrow so the next time they came back with more stuff for you? It’s like that with G O D too. Blessings like promotion come when you praise God (Psalms 75:6-7). You can’t fold your hands in thanklessness and expect to receive from God. Praise God for what He has done and what He is yet to do; remember that it is only the soul of the diligent that will be made fat [with blessings].
- Lastly, praise is a weapon of warfare. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Praise is your most effective weapon against the enemy and against the battles of life. You ever watch crime & investigations movies or shows and someone calls in the S.W.A.T team (Special Weapons And Tactics)? That’s what I believe praise to be: the special weapon/tactic of spiritual warfare. How do you think your enemies feel when they see you praising and dancing through your struggles?
Now I know sometimes we forget to praise God because we’ve forgotten how good He is to us. Sometimes we all go through what I like to call spiritual amnesia – a period of faithlessness and thanklessness. I once heard someone say “if you think, you will thank”. Isn’t it true? If you look back on God’s fingerprints all over your life, you will see clearly how much He has done for you and you will undoubtedly praise Him for all of it. Throughout this week, I’ve been grumbling and concentrating on my problems and didn’t for one second of the five working days of this week praise God. Not for seeing me through from Monday to Friday, for food and water, for helping me to cross Lagos roads safely etc. Today, hours before I wrote this, I was trying to nap but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me. He had me tossing and turning and reminded me that I need to praise because my lack of gratitude was threatening my joy. The greatest difficulty spiritually is focusing on God but when you look unto Him like Isaiah 45:22 tells us to, all your trials and problems fade away.
If you look back on God’s fingerprints all over your life, you will see clearly how much He has done for you and you will undoubtedly praise Him.
Living a life of praise is a sacrifice; it is an offering to God, particularly when you don’t feel like it. The ability and determination to praise through your feelings is a sacrifice. Not a lot of people can do that. I remember when I was in college and even uni, when I got in my moods I would shut everyone out for days, sometimes weeks. Now, I can get through those moods and periods because I’m learning to praise, even when I don’t feel like it. Listen, the devil will try and tell you so many things to make you discouraged. You have to be able to fight that discouragement by preaching the truth to yourself. Read Exodus 15:11 (Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?) then sing it. Think about it and you’ll be on the praise train to glorifying God.
The ability and determination to praise through your feelings is a sacrifice.
The Bible says in Isaiah 55:11 that the word of the Lord can never come back void to Him so if He has said a thing, believe it and praise Him ahead of Him fulfilling that promise. Sing of the mercies of the Lord (Psalms 89:1) and show forth the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9).
Here’s a song for you:
Praise Is What I Do – By William Murphy