"I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."
- Psalm 146:2 NIV
Most Christians know that the Bible says they were "created anew in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:10 NLT) But very few of us have gotten real revelation knowledge of the fact that we were actually born anew in Christ to become Spirit-empowered praisers of our God. First Peter 2:9 (NIV) says: "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." Those who don't continually "declare the praises" of their Lord are not fulfilling one of their most basic purposes as followers of Christ. If you are someone who is weak in this area, allow me to enlighten you a little on this important subject.
One of the things that the Bible makes clear about our function as praisers is that we should always praise the Lord with gladness. Scripture says: "Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs." (Psalm 100:2 NIV) If we put our whole selves into our praise and worship, we will not be able to hold back our joy for long, no matter what is going on in our lives at the time. I used to know a godly woman whose oldest son suffered for years from severe clinical depression. The doctors and medications offered him little help. But when this young man broke out in song, praising the Lord with all his heart, he experienced more peace and joy than at any other time. That taught me a lesson on the power of praise that I have never forgotten. And to this day, whenever I am tempted to despair, I lift my voice in praise to the Lord, and my whole being is strengthened and refreshed. God's Word tells us: "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!" (Psalm 95:2 AMP) Sometimes when I'm being bombarded by negative thoughts, I start to sing and praise God at the top of my lungs, and it drowns out the voices of fear and doubt--and I'm able to concentrate on the Lord's goodness and His willingness to help.
The Bible tells us exactly when to praise God: all the time. David had the right idea when he said: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1 NASB) He didn't say, "I'll praise God when I feel like it." Or, "I'll praise God when I'm good and ready." He said he would praise God "continually," and he meant it. When David's infant son died after he sinned with Bathsheba, the first thing he did was to go to the temple and worship God. (2 Samuel 12:20) He made a lot of mistakes during the course of his life, even as the king of Israel, but the Lord still used David mightily. I believe one reason for this was his heart of praise. Years ago, I heard a minister say that he once questioned God about why He so richly blessed a friend of his who wasn't even very "spiritual." He said the Lord revealed to him that it was because his friend was a full-time praiser. The revelation forever changed this minister's concept of praise and worship.
Scripture indicates that we should praise God in the presence of others. David said: "I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising Him to everyone." (Psalm 109:30 NLT) It's good for us to worship God in private, especially since being around others can sometimes hold us back from giving Him our all. But it's also good to worship the Lord in the presence of others, because it energizes us and strengthens the body of believers as a whole. When David says that he will "praise Him to everyone," he's not just talking about in song. He's also referring to telling others how the Lord has impacted his life, and how He longs to have an intimate relationship with His people, and to do them good and not harm. David loved his God, and he wasn't ashamed to let the world know it. How about you?
Prayer: Lord, remind me often that I was created anew in Christ to praise and glorify You. Help me to praise You joyfully and at all times, no matter what is going on in my life. Thank You that as I praise You with my life and my lips, You will use me to touch and change lives for Your glory!
- J. M. Farro