Ashamedly, there have been multiple times in my life when I have told the Lord I could not praise Him in the midst of a difficult situation. After He provided the relief and I saw a resolution to the difficulty, I would praise Him. Yet, there are some heartrending complexities that remain to this day and I’ve yet to see them resolved. But despite what I continue to deal with or no matter how it ends, God is teaching me to praise Him. He doesn’t deserve my praise because of my circumstances. He deserves my praise because of Who He is: Holy, Eternal, God Creator and Savior! I am learning to trust God and to offer up a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15) during the difficulty, sickness, pandemic, or whatever it might be we are called to endure, as this is where our faith grows. This is where God works accomplishing more and more of “Christ in us the hope of glory” (Colossians 1; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18). I was just wondering! Can our praise be heard?
Jehoshaphat, a king of Israel, knew exactly where to stand through difficult times.
“Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before Thee (for Thy name is in this house) and cry to Thee in our distress, and Thou wilt hear and deliver us” (2 Chronicles 20:9, NASB).
King Jehoshaphat was given the news that a group of armies are coming against him. The Bible says the King “was afraid.” But in his fear, he “turned his attention to seek the Lord” (20:3). He continued to pour out his heart to God, “we are powerless before this great multitude [pandemic] . . . nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee” (20:12).
God’s answer: “the battle is not yours but God’s” (20:15). “Do not fear or be dismayed . . . for the Lord is with you” (20:17).
“And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. And they were led in praise and worship to God: “And the Levites, . . . stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice” (20:18-19).
So, I will ask you again, Christian: Can our praise be heard? John Calvin said, “The most holy service that we can render to God is to be employed in praising His name.”
Wherever there is advancement in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, there will be an ever-increasing sacrifice of praise ascending from his [the Christian’s] heart to the Lord. Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). That is, what fills the heart overflows the mouth. When Jesus Christ is genuinely loved, there will be a growing surge of adoring praise. A soul enraptured with God will be evidenced by a mouth exalting him.Holman Old Testament Commentary, Psalms 76-150, p. 361
Did you hear that? A soul enraptured with God will be evidenced by a mouth exalting HIM. “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 146:1&2).
The person who praises the Lord will also trust him in all of life.Holman, p. 362
Did you hear that? The person who praises the Lord will also trust him in all of life.
We may not be able to claim the same type of victory Jehoshaphat was given, but we know the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Can our praise be heard?
Praising God is a choice. It is an intentional choice of the will to magnify God in every circumstance and situation of life [even a pandemic]. Sometimes our trials momentarily obscure our view of God and threaten to steal away the praise that belongs exclusively to God. Whenever the tribulations of life mount, we must maintain our God-centered focus and choose God-enthralled praise of the Lord. We must never allow our praise to be controlled by our circumstances. Instead, we must allow our praise to control how we respond to our circumstances. Let us always choose praise. We have every reason to magnify the Lord’s holy name.Holman, p. 363
Did you hear that? We must never allow our praise to be controlled by our circumstances. Instead, we must allow our praise to control how we respond to our circumstances.
If you’re not convinced, read Psalm 145. And don’t stop there. Read the last 5 Psalms (146-150). Read them repeatedly, until your heart has been conditioned to offer a sacrifice of praise, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming” (Psalm 147:1). “I will extol Thee, my God, O king; And I will bless Thy name forever and ever. Every day I will bless Thee, And I will praise Thy name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and highly (worthy) to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:1-3). HE IS WORTHY to be praised! Don’t miss out offering a sacrifice of praise, every day!