In Old Testament times the people of God brought animal sacrifices to the temple. These sacrifices pointed to the great sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Now no more sacrifices for sin is left. The only sacrifice that we are asked to continually bring to God is praise (Hebrews 13:5).
Praising God comes from a thankful heart. We are commanded to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is not easy in difficult situations in life. Yet if we choose an attitude of praise, God will help us to walk confidently in spite of the troubles that surround us.
Praising God helps us to see life’s situations from God’s perspective. As Corrie ten Boom used to point out, we often look at things as if seeing them from the underside of an embroidered cloth. The different coloured threads make no sense when seen from the underside. But when we have an attitude of praise, God helps us to see our life from his side. We see from there a beautiful pattern emerge.
Praising God enables us to worship him better. As we read the book of Revelation we see heaven open and there is a thundering sound of praise of multitudes. We hear shouts of Hallelujah. We hear cries of Holy, Holy, Holy resounding. We hear “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain.” There is no moment when heaven does not sound with praise. Therefore an attitude of praise enables us to have our hearts prepared to worship God acceptably.
Praising God pours out God’s joy into our hearts. This joy is given by the Holy Spirit. And that brings God’s presence near to us. The classic story of Paul and Silas in prison singing and praising God is an example. When persecuted, they responded with praise. This attitude of praise resulted in an entire household coming to know Jesus and Luke records that the jailer was filled with joy (Acts 16:34).
Praising God brings the power of God to operate in our lives in a mighty way. There are strongholds like the walls of Jericho in our hearts. When God asks us to conquer these, he also is asking us to use the weapon of praise. It was only when praise brought down the walls that the Israelites were able to rush in. These walls can be negative habits, sinful attitudes, a judgemental spirit etc. A constant attitude of praise will change a person’s negative traits completely.
Praising God, as a final thought, is the one way to be unafraid of the future. When we praise God we are really acknowledging that God is in absolute control of our lives even when there are times we fail to understand his plans for our lives. An attitude of praise takes away the worry of the future from our lives and we learn to enjoy the present moment.
Praising God, moreover, is one way to experience the redemption of God in our lives. For we make several mistakes in our lives. As we maintain an attitude of praise God redeems the mistakes we have made in our lives. Of course, we face the consequences of our mistakes. At the same time the grace of God becomes sufficient in our lives and ultimately God will bring good out of the seeming evil.
Therefore the next time you say Hallelujah or Praise the Lord let it not be just from the lips and let it not be just from the heart; but let it be with your whole being. When burdens press and troubles crush your hearts why not try to meditate on the greatness of our God and start praising him. The burdens will lift and the joy of God will flood in!
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