It took me years- almost my entire adult life- to understand what the Bible is talking about when it says praise. I think in my very American upbringing the thought of praise is evoked only when someone is telling you about a job well done.
Praise was always a very me-centric concept; wondering how I could achieve praise, when will I get the attention and praises that my ego longed for, to validate my pretty much godless and insignificant day-to-day work, while padding others around me in surface-level praise of appearances and shallow accomplishments.
When it came to the Almighty, praise was not a natural reaction, nor did it feel very appropriate.
Why should I praise God?
He’s God after all, and it’s his job to be glorious, and His creation to be perfect. God is operating as He should be. Why do I need to praise Him? And even more suspect, why does He need my praise?
Fast forward to now, when I can clearly see my glaringly sinful heart and all the flaws that went into my thinking. Not only was I believing my perspective to be accurate that God shouldn’t need my praise, but also how oblivious I was to the fact that I needed to praise God, since that’s what He created me to do.
Praise is part of our hardwiring. Your heart needs to acknowledge the wonders, grace, mercies, love and works of the Lord. That same great God is the one that created you. And me. Each of us need to remind ourselves of His greatness and our dependence on Him to live, now and in the world to come.
In magnifying His glory, we reduce the false sense of our own glory.
Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit in us, we get to praise God. The dead don’t praise God, not the way the living do (Psalm 115:17). We are alive here and now along with all of creation only for this season, and this season will pass, just like our opportunity to say/sing/SHOUT praises to the Lord for He is Good.
So instead of listing the myriad of Psalms and passages relating to praise, I’ll list my favorite here, and challenge you to find your own favorite verse relating to praise. It could be a verse that sparks praise in you, or one that you have memorized that reminds you to praise God.
“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name; for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1 NIV
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Post Photo by Brett Sayles