We Are Invited to Praise God

Psalm 66 invites and encourages us to praise God: “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.  Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!  Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.  All the earth worships you; they sing praise to you, sing praises to your name.’”

We are invited and encouraged to praise God not only because God is worthy of our praise but also because praising God is good for our souls.  Praise is the deliberate act of remembering and declaring the goodness of God regardless of our circumstances.  In the process of doing this, our hearts begin to settle into the truth that God’s goodness withstands all of our hard times.  True praise is not the declaration that our situation makes us entirely happy; rather it is the declaration that we cast our hope on the goodness of God whether things are going well or poorly for us.  Praise then shifts the focus of our soul from the limitedness of our circumstances to the immeasurable love and capabilities of God.

Charles Swindoll asks a series of questions that draw out the significance of praising and worshiping God: “What comes from the Lord because it is impossible for humans to manufacture it?  Wisdom.  What comes from humans because it is impossible for the Lord to experience it?  Worry.  And what is it that brings wisdom and dispels worry?  Worship.”

Psalm 66 begins with the invitation and encouragement to all of us to praise God.  It concludes with the psalmist’s personal expression of gratitude and praise: “But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the words of my prayer.  Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me.”

May God bring to your mind awareness of things for which you can praise God so that the focus of your soul might shift from the limitedness of your circumstances to the immeasurable love and capabilities of God.

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