Monday, April 24, 2017

Called to Praise

  
I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.

Several years ago, my word for the year was Praise. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about the word when the year started. Praise felt like a really big word for when really big things happened—which wasn’t every day. So, what was I supposed to do with the word the rest of the year?

What I learned first is that Praise isn’t supposed to be saved for only the really big events or even what is visible to others.

Praise is meant for every day—the little, the ordinary, and what others might not be able to see.
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Praise is when we honor God by acknowledging Him in everything we do. It’s looking for Him and His work, no matter if it’s a good day or a rotten day. Praise is thanking God in all situations, even when we don’t feel thankful.

Praise when I don’t feel thankful? Yes, because sometimes we have to practice giving praise before it feels natural.

For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke.

Our human nature doesn’t lead us to feel thankful when we’re walking in the valley, but that’s precisely when God can do His best work in us. The hard work of changing our hearts and bringing us closer to Him. And creating a desire in us to want to be closer to Him.

The next thing I learned about Praise is that it’s not just for after something happens.

Praise is also meant to be given before we see His work.

How do I know what to praise Him for if it hasn’t happened yet? Because God is always at work, even when we can’t see it or imagine what He might be working on.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

Praise Him for being who He is—our God and Savior who doesn’t change on a whim. He doesn’t change the rules. And His love for us doesn’t change because He’s having a bad day.

Praise Him because no matter what we’re going through, we can be sure He’s walking beside us. He leads the way before us and watches over us. Sometimes He stays quiet, but we can trust that He’s there.

In those times I desperately need to feel His presence, I ask Him to let me see Him. And then I look for Him even in the slightest way. It might be in new flower buds, the lyrics of a song, an unexpected phone call or text from a friend, or in the way my day turns around through no power of my own.

My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises!

That year, I learned to praise God for His presence, for His love and compassion, and because no matter what I regret doing today, tomorrow is a brand new start.

Praise Him because when we look for Him, we will see Him. And the more we see Him, the more we will look for Him.
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In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: FreeImages.com]

11 comments:

  1. Your thoughts on praise are calling me into a deeper appreciation for my 2017 OneWord -- "standing." This year, I want to find myself standing in a place of appreciation for all the God is and does, to stand before Him in praise and adoration.
    Blessings, Laura!

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  2. Beautiful thoughts on praise Laura!

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  3. Yes, praise is not only in the big moments, it's in the million little moments of our everyday! And when we teach ourselves to be noticers of good so that we can acknowledge and praise Him, we find ourselves living more joyfully, more peacefully. We find ourselves living free!
    Thanks so much, Laura, for this hope-filled post and for sharing it at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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  4. Beautiful thoughts! One of my favorite verses is Acts 17:27 "that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;" (NASB). He's right there waiting for us to notice Him and all He has done to fill our needs. His longing is to hear us say it - our making that choice to express what we know. It just deepens the connection! Thank you for sharing this!

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  5. Criticizing and seeing the negative is so easy to do. But praising, that takes thought and work. But that is what we are called to do. Thanks for this important reminder today. Just this afternoon I was reminding myself to praise more than find fault.

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  6. Beautiful thoughts on praise, especially after a conversation & prayer time with friends last night. We talked about the importance of praise & worshiping Him. We have opportunity every day, maybe even all day long, to find reason to praise Him. Wonderful reminder!

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  7. Such a thought provoking post Laura. I am learning to praise God in everything. I must admit I was like you in thinking praise only took place at church or big events, but now I praise Him from the moment I wake up each morning. I want my life to be a living praise for His glory. Thank you for the wonderful insights you've shared. have a fantastic weekend and may God bless you and yours.

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  8. Praising Him before we see Him work is what God highlighted to me from your timely words! Thank you, Laura!

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  9. Praising God even before we see His work - powerful indeed. We tend to want to praise God only during the best times,but praising Him during the most saddest times is Praiseworthy too.
    Thank you for the wonderful insight. visiting you from faith n friends(CMB) as your neighbor

    Diana -http://dianasdiaries.com

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  10. Beautiful post, causing me to Praise Him! Thank you. Loved how you pointed us to the truth and hope we have in Jesus! God bless you! Following you at Deb's today.

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  11. Excellent thoughts on prayer Laura! I truly believe there is cause to praise in every situation.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!