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Listen while you read: "Praise Him Praise Him"1 (Lyrics)
Probably the most difficult thing for me to do at times is to experience the joy of the Lord and to be positive when I don't feel it on the inside! The struggles of daily life can be overwhelming on most days. When I read the stirring encouragements to praise in Psalm 150, I wonder where would I get the gumption to be as enthusiastic as the psalmist!
Psalm 150:1-3,6 – Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens! Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (ESV)
Moving outdoors to a new scene can affect the way that we experience our God. Praising Him under His mighty heavens is to raise our eyes and hearts to travel in spirit from furthest east to endless west, knowing that He is praised by everything under the skies. A step into His sanctuary, either a church sanctuary or the sanctuary in our hearts, is to enter a sacred space set apart solely for His honour where we recognize that He is always present. In that holy place, even amid life's cares, we can praise Him for His mighty deeds, most significantly the freedom bought for us on the cross, and our sure hope of heaven in His resurrection.
The psalmist creates a scene of the orchestra of God's people, using their combined music to praise God, where no instrument is left out — woodwinds, strings, and percussion. This is no timid mouthing of the words, but a loud, resounding symphony. We can listen to Christian music to revive our tired spirits, praising Him for our salvation in Jesus, and the preparations even now going on in heaven for us.
Every breath that we breathe is a gift of God, and praising Him, even when we don't feel like it, is the best way to use it. Life has its ups and downs, sunshine and cloud, sadness and laughter. It all ends in a loud "Hallelujah!" if we stay focused on the excellent greatness of our God.
Prayer: Sing with me:
- Praise Him! Praise Him, Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him, highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honour give to His holy name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children.
In His arms He carries them all day long.
Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness!
Praise Him! Praise Him, ever in joyful song!
– Fanny Crosby, 1889
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Thanks for the encouragement, Shirley.
What a wonderful devotion today. Thank you.
Thank you, Shirley this devotional is beautiful. May the Lord shine upon you.
Amen. I needed this today. Our praise must be stronger than the circumstances surrounding us.
Thanks Shirley. What a great way to start today! I use praise songs in my morning devotions and we always have a praise CD on in the car. Blessings.
Thank you, Shirley, for a very timely message as I travel with my dad to see an oncologist today. A good reminder that God is always with us. I will draw strength from that. God bless!
Shirley, I have a friend who models this. When her husband had a stroke recently, she spent 5 minutes the next day telling me all the blessings that came out of it! She chooses to look at life that way. I will share this with her as she’s a good model and a challenge to me.
Thank you for your positive thoughts in this devotional today. Yes, at all times our Lord deserves our praise as He is ever present with us regardless of where we are in a sanctuary or elsewhere.
Blessings for your special writings,
Thank you for sharing your honesty about praising God and encouraging us all when we are feeling low to seek out God’s joy for us. I think at this time of year when I should be most grateful for Jesus coming as a human, the dark days bring me down and I have to work extra hard to feel the joy and if I follow your example and praise the Lord, I will get there. May many blessings come your way and the sun shines today.
Shirley, it is so easy to identify with your writing today! Even a simple thing like looking outside and seeing blue sky for a change and the sun is actually shining on the snow certainly gives rise to praise much easier than on those dull days we’ve been having!
Thanks for your encouragement to keep praising… Love that hymn, too!
The paragraph about “the scene of the orchestra of God’s people…” and listening to Christian music, in particular resonated with me.
Dear Shirley, I really felt blessed by your devotional today. Being in lock down again and not seeing family and friends I get sad and lonely. Your devotional gave me inspiration and to be joyful in my sad and lonely times as well as the happy times.
Growing up Mennonite we sang that great Fanny Crosby hymn many times in church, I know it by heart. Love the Hymn.
Thanks for your wonderful devotionals. You’re a blessing to us who read them and feel blessed by them.
Take care, stay safe.
Thank you so much for this beautiful devotional message. It fits me perfectly!
Last winter I had surgery and healed easily and well. However, following that, I was literally flattened with very painful months of sciatica. I persistently spent that time at His Throne of Grace, begging for His nail-scarred healing hand. I would NOT give up. Finally, in the midst of a crying spell, I exclaimed with all my heart and soul and mind, “Even though You slay me, yet will I trust You! My joy in belonging to You, is my strength. Thy will be done. Do whatever You need to do to be glorified in my situation.” The next day, I awoke with minimal discomfort and within two days, could walk, stand, and sit without pain. No signs of back problems since then!
Our God is so good. He only wants ALL OF US!!!
Thank you so much for your encouragement. I needed it.
What an encouraging word, Shirley! I responded to your invitation to sing “Praise Him!” Praise and thanksgiving always shine away any darkness or despair we may feel.
I was involved in a contemporary worship ministry, one of the very earliest in the Presbyterian Church.
We did services to packed churches, did tours, shared in Expo 67 in Montreal. We had a 7-piece R and B band, folk group. L drama, and dance that psalm was read at every service and a host of wonderful memories of that time came flooding back. For the congregations it was a totally new experience to praise God with such joy and energy. At that time, in the 60s, they were used to sitting quietly in a pew, singing properly from a hymnbook, and going home.