There’s a season for everything …including praise. But have you praised God lately? I mean really given it all you’ve got? When’s the last time you gave God such a roar, such a shout that you brought the roof down? The way you hollered when your top team aced the big game of the year…Can you give God the same kind of soul-shaking shout?
There’s a story in the Bible that triggers a reminder about how sad it is when people don’t praise… It happened one ordinary day. Jesus did something extraordinary. All miracles are astounding, but this was wondrous. Jesus reached out and healed ten lepers…ten people who had been doomed to a life of crippling alienation and pain. Ten people who had never dreamed of being made whole…not in a million years.
Suddenly healed! But only one returned to give Jesus thanks.
Is that the best we can give to God? Can we only come up with a one out of ten?
Sometimes I’m guilty of that kind of attitude. God bowls me over with a miracle, then another, and another. I know I ought to praise, but I settle for status quo. I know I couldn’t possibly record in a lifetime all of God’s great blessings, and I may even feel like shouting and praising, but I wonder what people will think. I stop. I hold back. And then every once in wonderful while, I find myself listening to praises at home or in a church service where praise just lets loose and the Holy Spirit takes over. And wow! It’s like soaring. A waterfall roar of praise! And it changes everything.
Praise has power. Praise uplifts the human spirit! Praises break prison doors. It happened for Peter and Paul and the early church. One minute they were praising in a dungeon. Then next thing they knew the jail doors opened wide and out they walked, escorted by angels! Praise shatters heavy loads. Praise levels mountains. It happened in ancient Jericho. An entire city crumbled to dust as God’s people praised Him. God has been demonstrating to humankind the power of praise for thousands of years. And God never changes. His power never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God says He actually inhabits…lives…dwells in the praises of His people! Praise literally brings God right into our midst. Praise brings the house down. Praise is heaven touching earth! Praise is the glory of God coming alive within the human spirit. Praise is the expression of thanksgiving. Praise is the language of eternity.
Oh for more praise…Oh for a return to giving God thanks with all our hearts!
If you had to thank God today for what He’s done in the past 24 hours, the last week, the last month…or year, how long and how loud do you think your praises would need to be?
Oh, go ahead, give God a SHOUT!
This is the message found in Psalm 107. The writer of this psalm first explains how incredibly God has intervened and brought rescue operations to His people. Great works! Mighty, unbelievable, astonishing miracles. And yet the writer wonders — why don’t people praise God for these wonders? Five times he pens an earnest plea…
Oh that people would praise!
Jesus said if people didn’t praise Him the rocks and stones of the earth would shout.
When we stop to think about who God is we realize only heaven will tell the full story. But are we going to wait until heaven to start thanking God for His gift of life, for His immeasureably great power, goodness, love, creation, and every expression of His love great and small… or will we begin now?
When it gets right down to it, there’s only one thing to do…
Oh, go ahead, PRAISE the Lord! Give it all you’ve got!
©2012 S. Michaels
From Notebook: What Have You Got to Lose?