Monday, December 1, 2014


Imagine how the Bethlehem shepherds and the wisemen praised God when they saw the bright starlight! We are blessed to have the Light of the World living in our midst and within us.


Praise value

When I see a herd of deer cavorting in the snow or river otters sliding repeatedly down a snow-clad hill into a river, I picture them giving thanks and praise to God. And who doesn’t enjoy watching a youngster turning somersaults in a pile of leaves or singing and dancing in the pouring rain?

We find it easy to smile and praise Him for the good stuff. As we do, it causes God to smile (and since we’re made in His image, He must smile). In fact, God does more than smile. He actually lives in our praises. “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)

Unfortunately, when things aren’t good for us, we tend to grumble. David did that in some of his Psalms. But every time he vented, he immediately switched to giving God praise and honor. He knew without doubt that in spite of the bad stuff he was going through—chased by enemies, unpopular, homeless—God would bring him through.

Sometimes we experience challenges. The bad stuff looms before us like an insurmountable wall. Those times are the exact moments we should be praising and thanking God—the times when we try but can’t seem to find God. Because when we look to Him in praise rather than at our insurmountable wall, He sits right in our midst. When we stop trying so hard in our own weak power to climb that wall, then God will reside with us in the midst of our unpleasant circumstances and bring everything He is into our situation.

The book of 2 Chronicles tells the story of Judah’s king Jehoshaphat, who faced two great enemies. He gathered his people together, prayed and fasted, and in faith called on his singers. Why singers at such a dire time? Because Jehoshaphat believed that God’s promise for deliverance would come while those singers praised God through song. God entered their midst, bringing victory without their lifting a bow.

Praising God during the good times is great. Praising Him during the bad times is even better because, by our faith, He will act on our behalf for victory. In His perfect way. In His perfect time.

Got doesn’t want us to be “fair-weather” worshipers. Like children singing in the rain, we can praise Him, knowing that He lives with us in the midst of our most drenching downpour.

Lord, we praise and thank You during good and bad, knowing You are in our midst to bring the best solutions to our circumstances. Cause us to praise You in all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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