“Love means not understanding His plans yet resting in their goodness.” ~ It’s Good to Be Queen
Chapter Seven: It’s Good to Praise God
One of the worship songs I learned in my early days with God started out, “We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.”
I sang it. But I didn’t quite get it. Praising God was an easy thing to do, right? Hands lifted, hearts lifted, voices lifted—why would anyone call that a sacrifice?
Then I hit my first speed bump as a believer.
While I struggled to my feet, brushing the gravel from my knees, I was not singing, “Praise the Lord.” Oh, no. I was muttering, “Thanks a lot, God.”
That’s when I began to get it. Praise isn’t about feeling good—it’s about doing good, whether we feel like it or not.
Praise also doesn’t happen just on Sundays at church. It happens at home, at work, at play, every day of the week.
Praise becomes a sacrifice when we throw ourselves on the altar—our ego, our pride, our need for control. It’s when we praise God instead of others or ourselves. It’s when we praise Him simply because He deserves it.
When Sheba came to that sacrificial place, having been humbled by Solomon’s God-given wisdom, words of praise poured from her mouth freely, openly, joyfully.
Praise be to the Lord your God,
who has delighted in you
and placed you on the throne of Israel.
Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel,
he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.
1 Kings 10:9
She doesn’t simply praise His holy name. She praises His love for Solomon’s people and His calling on Solomon’s life.
I’m taking a page from Sheba’s hymnal and learning to not only say, “I praise You, Lord,” but also to get specific. “I praise You, Lord, because _______.” By focusing on His mighty attributes and the many great things He has done, I’m able to look beyond the here and now and trust in what’s to come.
So, here’s a question from the Study Guide that might help us both follow in Sheba’s footsteps.
From the Study Guide
1. b. If you’ve ever praised God simply to be obedient, what did you discover in the process?
Yesterday was One of Those Mornings. I had a carefully orchestrated list of appointments and errands, which quickly fell apart when I arrived at the first stop and was told, “Sorry. You’re not on our schedule for today.”
I’m not what?
The good news? I didn’t voice my frustration, didn’t bite the woman’s head off, didn’t storm past her into the doctor’s office.
The bad news? I still thought about doing all those things, Furthermore, I didn’t whisper under my breath, “Praise the Lord. Must be a good reason for this. I’ll just trust Him.”
When my morning didn’t improve, my attitude didn’t either. Grumble, grumble, grumble. On the return trip to the doctor’s office, this low-blood-pressure girl—usually 120/70—was a scary 158/90.
“Is it usually this high?” the nurse asked, a note of concern in her voice.
“No,” I sighed. “It’s been a really bad day.”
Was it? Really? Sitting there waiting for the doctor, I made a mental list of the many things that had gone well and all the ways I saw God’s hand at work. By the time my physician appeared, I was breathing easier. And praising my Maker.
The doctor snagged my chart from his desk. “Having a good day, I see.”
“Sure am.” Finally.
Lord Jesus, let nothing stand in the way of our praise. Not disappointment or discouragement or any other distraction. Even when life is hard, You are good. Even when feeling down seems easier, looking up is wiser.
Now, it’s your turn
We know our praises don’t change our unchangeable God. How do they change you? Your comment, shared below, will encourage so many.
Your grateful sister, Liz
P.S. You’ll find my free video teaching on Chapter Seven on Vimeo. And here’s this week’s wallpaper for your smart phone or tablet. Finally, two terrific bargains this week online. You can pre-order my Parable Treasury, a new collection of my 4 children’s parable books, including The Pumpkin Patch Parable, at a crazy low price thru October 12. And, get my Victorian novella, A Wreath of Snow, for your Kindle for just $1.99 (80% off!) thru October 18. Happy shopping, saving, and sharing, my friend.