Well, I’m having a hard time keeping up; we are so tired we are sleeping 16 to 18 hours a day! Today’s devotional is a good one for me. My brother Sam is somewhat better, out of danger, but the doctor said he has a very long road to recovery.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
Once upon a time there were two people living in a foreign land who got a package from Germany. When they went to the post office to pick it up, the customs official opened it and took out two packages of tea, the kind of tea that they really liked but wasn’t available locally. Smiling, he said, “You can’t have these; customs regulations!” And with that he put the tea into his desk drawer.
Now, how should these two people react to such random injustice? There are only two basic possibilities: to complain or to praise, and we all know which is correct. These two people took a moment to pray, “Lord, thank you for all the times tea did come to us and customs let it through. Thank you that this time you chose to have it otherwise.” Then those two left the post office with light hearts and good thoughts and had a really good day.
Praise is a wonderful responsibility that God has given us. It keeps us dwelling in the Truth, and, as you know, Jesus said in John 8:32, “…the truth will set you free.” Praise sets us free from the nasty so we can dwell on the nice, as Paul pointed out in Philippians 4:8 (think on whatever is true, noble and right, whatever is pure, lovely and admirable).
Very often we seek God’s will in certain matters, but more often we forget God’s will for all matters: Praise. “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thes. 5:18).
Praise is commanded or demonstrated over 250 times in Scripture—that alone is a powerful indication of its importance in our lives. And in Revelation it is indicated that praise will be our primary occupation in the life to come.
Do you know why we can praise God in and for all things? It is because of His Character. He is light itself; He is clothed in light, shining in glory, resplendent in honor, great in truth and beautiful in holiness. In the light of His wisdom He sees all, understands all, does all that is best in the long run. The Son shines ultimate goodness into our lives. Praise itself directs our attention to the powerfully beautiful Character of our Lord Jesus Christ and releases into our lives a fragrance that will attract others to Him.
Prayer: “Lord, such praise is so unnatural for me. Help me to gaze upon your Character everyday so I will respond to the events in my life with praise rather than complaining. May I thus give you a continual stream of glory before all those around me and shine your light upon them. Amen.”