Praise the Lord.
Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.
Praise Him for His acts of power;
praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise Him with the harp and lyre,
praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe,
praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.
let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Most people have a favorite season of the year. Many have favorite aspects of every season. What do you enjoy the most? Maybe sunshine, the beach, and vacations during the summer. Maybe the colors of leaves, fresh air, and a cool breeze during autumn. Maybe falling snow, the fireplace warming the room, and hot chocolate warming your body during winter.
But our lives include seasons in other ways — seasons of joy followed by seasons of sadness. Seasons of celebration near seasons of grief.
Because of that, we do not always feel emotions that inspire us to give praise to God. We know we should, but feelings often get in the way. Many people see praise and worship as insincere when they’re not “feeling it.” But our emotional status and our external circumstances should not control our praise. We can learn the honor of thanking God in the middle of any season — aware of our feelings but praising God anyway. To rejoice is a choice. That does not mean faking your faith and pretending to possess narrow happiness when you are hurting. It doesn’t suggest insincere singing. What it means is to see beyond the now.
Consider the many languages over many centuries in which this song has been offered in praise to God. Think of the many instruments used in that psalm. Think of how the nation of Israel used that poetic hymn to rejoice and celebrate God’s goodness. Maybe Jesus sang this hymn in the temple.
Maybe you’ve noticed a person who seemed reluctant to sing during a church service one Sunday morning. The surrounding people looked happy. Their smiles almost annoyed the silent person as he or she was still struggling with the grief of an unanswered prayer. But hearing a song that included Psalm 150:6, that person realized that giving thanks was a choice he or she could make. Maybe you’ve been that person.
Most people feel on occasion that they just can’t praise, but choosing to rejoice can bring freedom.
Take time to notice the beauty around you. Dwell on the wonder of God’s love. Realize that He will never leave you or forsake you. Remember the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructing his audience to give thanks in every situation. That exhortation came from a man who knew persecution, rejection, and desperation. He found ways to rejoice in prison, in famine, and in isolation. Joining Paul in rejoicing can bring nourishment to our souls.
Life in this fallen world includes many seasons. Sometimes those seasons include storms. And at other times the land feels dry and the heat feels impossible to endure. But no matter what, lifting praise to God will bring refreshment to your soul.
Heavenly Father, today I choose to rejoice — for Your creation, Your wisdom, Your guidance, Your love, Your grace. Through my pain and questions, You have given me assurance. You have never abandoned me. I sing songs of joy and give thanks. I also choose to thank You in advance for how You will guide me and provide for me. God, help me to embrace the larger truth in my personal relationship with You, the Creator who made me in Your image. Hold me with You in hope, reminding me that You will never leave me nor forsake me. With every breath, I praise You. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Peace with the Psalms, copyright Carpenter’s Code, Inc.
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Praise isn’t just for the joyful. Psalm 150 is for everyone – the happy, the sad, the anxious, the tired, the lonely, all. Praise is how we turn our faces to God and remember that He is our refreshment and our mainstay. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full