A big “Amen” to that! There’s so much that I have to praise God for. And, if you are a child of God, so have you. I believe with all my heart in joyful, verbal, and expressive praise. It is “…the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name”. Praise is a proclamation; a declaration of our gratitude for God’s love and faithfulness. Psalm 92 v1-2 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to your name O Most High: To declare your loving-kindness in the morning and your faithfulness every night”.
I remember during our time as Missionaries in Congo when I was quite ill. I felt so weak and miserable. Thoughts of praise were far from me! One morning I noticed a small book by the bedside. It was ‘Prison to Praise’ by Merlin Carothers. I don’t know how it got there, but there it was. I remember reaching out, picking it up and beginning to read.
The book contained powerful testimonies of lives transformed by the power of praise, including the writer’s own. I confess I had been groaning more than praying, and I certainly had not been praising! I slowly read my way through, and came to the chapter that brought the challenge from 1 Thessalonians 5 v16-18 “Rejoice always, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
I lay there a while, then slowly and quietly began to ‘give thanks’. I remember almost word for word how I began to give God praise, thanking Him for whatever it was he needed to teach me through this circumstance. I thanked Him in Jesus’ name for his presence, his calling, and His Spirit. It was mid-afternoon and while giving thanks fell into a deep sleep. I woke up mid-morning the next day completely well!
This experience taught me that praise is not always joyful and exuberant. I felt anything but that. It was praise and thanksgiving out of weakness. As I did so He lovingly and graciously healed me.
David sang in Psalm 34 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually in my mouth”. Yes! We can praise Him when all is well and in times of weakness. There are indeed “Ten thousand reasons” to “Bless the Lord O my soul”. Let’s do it ‘continually’ as we look forward with joyful anticipation to the day we can do it all together.
Be blessed and encouraged as you praise Him.