Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Praise the Lord, Indeed!


Scripture
 
Psa. 146:1        Praise the Lord!
    Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2     I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
        I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Psa. 146:3        Do not put your trust in princes,
        in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4     When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
        on that very day their plans perish.

Psa. 146:5        Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
        whose hope is in the Lord their God,
6     who made heaven and earth,
        the sea, and all that is in them;
    who keeps faith forever;
7         who executes justice for the oppressed;
        who gives food to the hungry.

Observation

We are invited into a lifestyle and attitude of praise and thanksgiving. We are to praise the Lord as long as we are alive, and then well into eternity. Praising the Lord will become the very nature of our attitude day in and day out — why not begin practicing now!

We praise God, for the Lord is trustworthy. Our God is eternal while in comparison the princes, the leaders of this world, are only temporary. Why do we court them in an effort to feel secure, when it is God who provides all that we need? Think of those who lived a hundred years ago and people spent valuable time with those of influence, trying to garner their support. In the end, they have all passed away and only the eternal remains.

When we praise the Lord and put our trust in God we will discover true joy. Worry will disappear and happiness will result for dependence won’t be upon those who will soon lose their money and power, but it will be in the eternal God who made everything that we can see. In the end this God that we praise will execute justice and provide for every need. Yes — praise the Lord, indeed!

Application

As the day begins and the messages begin pouring in we discover that we can soon become overwhelmed. Life has a way of catching up with us and filling up the margins that we may have planned. There is a reason why we need to create space for time with the Lord. Slowing down and praising the Lord can begin to change our perspective. I think that’s what happened to the Psalmist. When we stop to bring praise to God we begin to ponder the eternal. Why would we want to be dependent upon temporal resources when we can be connected to that which is eternally creative and sustaining?

When we stop trying to figure it all out on our own and we practice complete and total dependence upon the Lord we will discover a beautiful change within our hearts. God will receive the glory and the praise as we learn greater and greater dependence upon the Lord. Joy begins to fill the heart and replace worry and anxiety. The hope of Jesus infuses us in every sphere of life.

Learning to praise leads to trust which results in transformation. This transformation opens our eyes to God’s activities in this world including justice for those who have been oppressed by systems or those who are abusing power. The result is that those who have been hungry will be fed. And all of this cycles us back to praising the Lord for all of eternity. Praise the Lord. Trust in the Lord. See the hand of the Lord at work. Praise the Lord, indeed!

Prayer

Lord, we praise you this day for who you are. Please lead me into deeper depths of trust and understanding. May I have the joy of participating in your works of justice and feeding the hungry. In all of this I give you praise. Amen.


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