Monday, June 13, 2011
Babies have a way of wrapping us around their fingers. Who can resist them? They learn how to manipulate their irresistibility at an incredibly young age. For grandmas like me, that’s fun. Whether innocent or not, ya gotta love ‘em. Best of all, so does God.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The Benefits of Praise
We enjoy watching animal shows on TV. My favorites are about newborns that romp and play around their mothers in the prairie grass, on mountaintops, and under water. Their antics tickle my insides. Perhaps they make God, their Creator, laugh too. Perhaps their exuberance at life is simply their way to praise Him.
Human children are just as uninhibited and exuberant in their playful praise. Watching a toddler splash in water or run through raindrops brings sheer pleasure and joy to our hearts.
God’s heart receives our exuberant praise with joy, too. He encourages us to praise Him—whether we clap our hands, shout, sing and dance, or raise our hands. He encourages us to be still before Him, which is another way to offer praise.
Praise is a powerful tool that hinders the devil’s plans. Through praise, God brings us out of our spiritual slumps. Through praise, he breaks our habits of complaining. Through praise, He replaces our fears with faith and turns our negative thoughts to positive.
Praise is a discipline we all should learn. When we’re in a slump or facing a difficult situation, we can choose to praise God in and for the situation as we go through it. The bible tells us, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15) Think of it this way: when you don’t feel like praising God, decide to sacrifice your feelings and do it anyway. Such beautiful sacrifice brings great rewards. Such sacrifice brings a sense of God’s power and presence like nothing else. When we offer praise to God before the battle is won, we open the way for Him to bring us victory. Praise in the tough times brings us hope and encouragement and power to meet our adversaries. What are our adversaries? The temptation to smoke or do drugs or eat too much, the feeling of helplessness or fear or anger, the pain of rejection or illness or grief.
Lord, no matter what our age or circumstance, help us to be as exuberant as a baby critter in our praises to God. We agree with the Psalmist: “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1) In Jesus’ name we offer you our sacrifice of praise. Amen.