We end the psalms today, Psalms 148-150. Read them and notice how often we are commanded (not requested but commanded) to "Praise the Lord!" Each psalm begins and ends with this command. Evidently, from God's standpoint, this is not an option! Why are we adjured so often and with intensity to "praise the Lord?" I think it's because praise is tied very closely with humility (see yesterday's post). Praise recognizes that God is God and we are not God. With our words, we are saying to God and all around us, "I know HE made the heavens and earth. He is King. I am his subject." Psalm 148:4: "Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued his command and they came into being."
We are to praise him with singing (Psalm 149). We are to praise him with every possible instrument (Psalm 150). "Let everything that has breath sing praises to the Lord" (Psalm 150:6).
I've discovered through the yards the importance of praise before God. When the voices of condemnation in my head grow louder that's a signal to praise God louder. When the circumstances of my life become harder, the harder I praise. If I'm down to the last ounce of my faith, the harder I praise God.
Praise is God's antidote to depression. It's my way of saying, "I'm one day close to my answer from God. It hasn't yet come, but my God is a great God! He knows my needs. He made me. He hears my prayers because I'm his covenant child. Therefore, I'm getting closer and closer to the answer. I praise you, oh God!"
But hear this too: even if the answer doesn't come, God is still worthy of my praise. I DO believe the answer will come, but even it doesn't in my time or way, God is God. He is great and mighty. He has allowed me to live yet another day in his creation. What a privilege that alone is! He is worthy of all my praise. All I know to say to him is:
"Praise the Lord!"