Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Praising God in times of trouble
The importance of praise
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole world into an especially difficult and testing time. Fear, division and unrest seem to be growing daily and people are unsure of what the future will bring. At times like these, God reminds us in Psalm 111, of the importance of praise as an effective tool, which will help us to not just cope, but have victory over our circumstances.
How exactly does praising God help?
Praise opens access to God. While it is the blood of Jesus that grants us forgiveness from sin (Hebrews 10:19), praising God allows a clear passage to His presence. Therefore, “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4).
Praise removes despair. Praising God changes our focus from ourselves and our circumstances to God, His promises and His faithfulness. This shift in focus provides us with “the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isaiah 61:3).
Praise is an effective weapon against the devil. Praise celebrates God’s victory over Satan and declares the promises of God and His never-ending faithfulness and mercy in our lives. Psalms 111 showcases the works of God that are great (v2), glorious, and His righteousness that endures forever (v3). Praising God reminds us that even in difficult times, we serve a God who is gracious and full of compassion (v4). Last but not least, praise also ensures that we never forget the Abrahamic covenant promise, as well as the power and heritage of the nations (v6) that is our inheritance. Praising God reminds Satan that he can never take all of this away from us, God’s people, and reminds us, of what we have in God.
The redemption that secures our life and covenant promise with God
Psalms 111 (v8) also highlights the promise of redemption that God has given us. What exactly does this word redemption mean? The Hebrew word “Padah” for redemption, explains redemption as the deliverance from bondage based on the payment of a price by a redeemer.
How incredible is it to know that our God has not just delivered us from our sin and bondage. He has paid the price for our sins (through His blood shed on the cross) to redeem us.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Lastly v10 states that having the wisdom to deal with the uncertainties of life, amongst other things, starts with the fear of the Lord.
What do we mean by the “fear of the Lord?”. This simply means having respect for God’s majesty (Psalms 29:2), gratitude for His mercy (Psalms 2:11) and an understanding that we serve a God of love who is also a God of wrath (Romans 1:18).
Incorporating the fear of the Lord into our plans helps us to make decisions based upon His approval and ensures His divine involvement and blessings into our decisions.
Lord, we thank you, that in the midst of uncertainty, our praises to you secures your everlasting mercy and faithfulness in our lives. Thank you for the promise of redemption and the blessings that you have promised us, through Your covenant with Your servant Abraham. Let the fear of the Lord give us the wisdom to live our lives in accordance to Your purpose, so that we, in turn, may be a blessing to all around us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Praising God and declaring His promises gives us the victory peace and wisdom in times of uncertainty.
Carmel Mar Thoma Church, Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church