Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Power of Praise

the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. (Isaiah 43:21 ESV)

Things haven’t been going exactly perfect for me the last couple of days.

But, I am not going to give the enemy of my soul the satisfaction of listing them. Nor will I subject you, brothers and sisters in Christ, to a litany of whiny pouting.

No, instead this is a blog about the power of praising our great and awesome God.  

The verse from Isaiah above says we were created to praise God.

Thank you, Lord, for creating us out of the abundance of your love!

More than one Biblical scholar and preacher has pointed out that when the Lord sent Joshua up against the mighty, fortified city of Jericho He did not send in the army. Instead, He directed Joshua to lead with the praise band of trumpets. And, they say, when the great walls of Jericho fell on the seventh day, it was a shout of praise that brought down those stones.

In Second Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat is terrified as the mighty armies of Edom march toward Jerusalem to wipe them out. But he and all the people of Israel are told to stand still, praise the LORD, and watch as He fights for them. Jehoshaphat appointed singers, who stood in the place they were told and sang:

"Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21b)

At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Bible says, all of the armies that had set out to attack them began killing each other! Not a single one of the enemy survived and not a single one of God’s people had to lift a finger to fight.

Then, there’s Paul and Silas in Acts 16, beaten and thrown into prison, singing and praising God when a great earthquake rocks the jail and all the doors fly open and everyone’s chains come off!

There are many verses in the Bible extoling and urging praise:
Colossians 2:7 says we are to be “abounding in thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Nehemiah 8:10 says the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Psalm 100, verse 4 is: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

The great preacher, Charles Spurgeon, wrote an entire book called, “The Power of Praise.” (Yes, blog research does sometimes result in unexpected book purchases.)

In a sermon about prayer and praise, Spurgeon points out that the Lord’s Prayer begins and ends with praise and he says, “Furthermore, there is this to be remembered, that when we come before God in the hour of trouble, remembering his great goodness to us in the past, and therefore thanking him, we ought to have faith enough to believe that the present trouble, about which we are praying, is sent in love.”

Yes, God is indeed good, and I have been blessed beyond measure in ways that are beyond my ability to think or know—including things I may now consider troublesome but have been sent to me in love.

And, one thing I know for certain no matter what happens-- that the greatest of all praises is due the LORD for sending Jesus to die on that cross and rise again from the dead so whoever would believe in Him would have eternal life in heaven where:

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun. (Final stanza of “Amazing Grace.)

Jesus is LORD!

Today’s Praise

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)




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