Dianne Barker here with a few thoughts about praise.
“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord…” (Psalm 150:6). Everything that has breath? That includes me. And there are no exclusion clauses.
Praise isn’t a challenge when I feel like praising. When the Lord gives a favorable answer to my prayers, praise is my natural response. But sometimes He doesn’t do what I ask. Can I see delay or disappointment as an opportunity to praise by faith?
Fretting and pouting lead to misery (I’ve had enough experience with that). But when I choose to praise by faith, surrendering my circumstance to the Lord and trusting him for the outcome, He turns my anxiety and despair to joy.
Joy is among the luscious fruit of the Spirit when we surrender fully to Him—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Once in a hard place, I printed myself a reminder, “Nothing but praise.” I framed it and placed it on my desk to help me maintain an attitude of praise, whatever is happening in my life.
Not long ago I read through the Psalms, making a list of every mention of the good things the Lord has done. It’s a long list. I refer to it when circumstances aren’t favorable and I need a reason to praise.
I noticed how often the writers praised by a decision of the will. Listen to this. “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee; I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High” (Psalm 9:1-2, emphasis added).
If we choose to sing praise today, if we choose to be glad today, if we choose to rejoice today, we do so in our present circumstances. We don’t wait until a future time when circumstances change. We choose this response today.
When you don’t feel like offering praise, scan the Psalms again and make a “God is” list. This will get you started: God is…my shield, my refuge, my stronghold, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my support, my life, my joy, my Savior.
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalm 57:7).
Are you still breathing? Then breathe praise. Praise because He is worthy. Praise by a decision of the will.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.