Sunday, March 07, 2010

PRAISING UNCONDITIONALLY

Why do we praise God? Do we desire to honour Him and make Him glad? Or do we feel that praise puts God under obligation to grant the earthly longings we bring to Him in prayer? Will God do whatever we ask simply because we praise Him?

God is not a heavenly machine into which we insert the coin of praise, press the right button, and get whatever we want. Nor praise is a magical incantation that forces God to fulfill our wishes. Many of us would not consciously try to manipulate God. But when we praise Him in the midst of a trial, we can be tempted to secretly bargain with Him, feeling in some recess of our heart, "I'm praising You, Lord. Now You owe it to me to work out this situation the way I want."

1) TRUSTING REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS
True praise imposes no conditions on God. It chooses to believe Him regardless of the situation and its outcome. It accepts the circumstances He has permitted, without insisting that He change them. Such praise begins with the attitude that says, "Father I'm going to keep trusting You even though everything is dark and confusing." As we continue to praise, we reach the place where we can say, "Father, thank You that You are working in me to beautify my character. Change me in anyway You see fit."
One majot purpose of trials is to strengthen our faith and transform our attitudes. Therefore choosing an attitude of trust and praise sometimes ends a trial with surprising speed. But even if it does not, we find ourselves enriched and strengthened to endure.

2) DEMOSTRATE OUR TRUST

Through praise each of us can demostrate trust in God to work in the present as He has in past centuries. In the final chapters of Genesis we see how God brought far-reaching benefits through all the events that had happened to Joseph - the cruel betrayal by his brothers, the agonies of his soul, the slavery, the false accusations, the long years of imprisonment, and the forgetfulness of the butler he had befriended, with the extra years of confinement that resulted.
We read in Psalm 105:17 that God Himself had sent Joseph to Egypt, intending to bring good out of his trials. He used them to prepare this youth to be prime minister of the greatest nation on earth. Through Joseph's trials, God arranged to have him in the right place at the right time to save the lives of hundreds of thousands during severe famine. Joseph's long years of suffering resulted in his own life being saved, as well as his entire family, and through it, the ancestors of Jesus.
Joseph showed his confidence in God's loving sovereignty in Genesis 50:20-21. When his brothers feared retribution, Joseph told them, "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preseve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid." As we offer praise, we show that we believe that Joseph's God is alive and at work today, even in the bleakest of circumstances.
3) A MAJOR STRESS REDUCER
Praise and thanksgiving do not insulate us from problems and pressures. But as we couple them with honest prayer, they do serve as a major stress reducer. They help us from the self-imposed stresses of our negative attitudes, opening our hearts to the soothing power of God's peace, which surpasses all understanding. And they do more than soothe. They also infuse us with vitality. God's Word says, "Strength and joy are in His dwelling place ... The joy of the LORD is your strength." (1 Chronicles 16:27, Nehemiah 8:10)
Praise and thanksgiving usher us into God's presence, where we can partake of His joy and quietly absorb strength, strength for every need - spiritual, emotional, or physical. By helping us view our situation through God-coloured glasses, praise gives our threatening or depressing circumstances a new look. It helps us relax our bungling efforts to change other people so that life will be easier for us. It tunes us in to God's wisdom so that we know when to take wise, loving action and when to simply trust Him to act. We begin to exert a creative, uplifting influence on others, because as we change, people tend to react to us in new ways. Although God does not promise fewer trials if we praise, praise often brings a multitude of external benefits as well as relaxed-yet-invigorated spirit.
Our unconditional praise deepens our trust and joy in God. It increases our spiritual impact on people. These and other benefits come not as our due for praising the Lord but simply as added reasons to praise Him for His undeserved favour. They come not because we manipulate God to do what we want, but because we center our thoughts and expectations in Him.
Our motive in genuine praise is to bring joy and glory to God. we are here to do His will, not to obligate Him to do ours.
(An extract from PRAISE - A Door To God's Presence by Warren & Ruth Myers)

Praise The Lord!
TPWC

1 comment:

Goodgooglygoo said...

AMEN ... HIS PRAISE shall continueally be in my mouth, mind body, spirit and SOUL.