June 6, 2023
Get Your Praise On!
Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20 NCV).
Friend to Friend
When we lived in South Florida, the grass in our yard grew year-round. So did the weeds. We soon learned that the best way to deal with weeds was simply to take really good care of the grass. When the grass was healthy, it was thick and lush – leaving little room for weeds to grow.
When our hearts and lives are filled with praise, worry is a weed that will die from a lack of attention. When we choose to continually give God thanks, there will be little room in our hearts for fear.
Because praise acknowledges the very character of God, while thanksgiving recognizes the work of His hand. Together, praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons against worry and formidable tools to strengthen our faith.
I know what you are thinking. Sometimes it is just plain hard to praise God because of the grueling circumstances we are facing. Remember the words of Paul: “Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 NCV).
The problem is that we don’t understand the true meaning of praise.
Praise comes from a Latin word that means “value” or “worth.” To praise God means to celebrate His worth, His value, and His presence. “Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds—His name is the Lord—and rejoice before Him” (Psalm 68:4 NIV).
Praise and thanksgiving please God. Psalm 147:1 says, “How good it is to sing praise to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!” (NIV).
Praise and thanksgiving encourage obedience. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Did you catch the truth that it is His will for us to praise Him?
Obedience to Him always promotes peace and eliminates worry.
Praise and thanksgiving enhance our awareness of His presence. Psalm 22:3 tells us, “Yet you are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (NLT). When we praise God, we enthrone Him in our lives. We make that fearful circumstance His dwelling place. That’s right! We invite Jesus to join us in our mess. And do you know that He always accepts that invitation of praise?
Thanksgiving is a deposit on the future.
Praise is trusting Him for what He will do and then expecting Him to do it, understanding that today’s stumbling blocks are tomorrow’s stepping stones.
Praise frees God to work because when we praise Him, we are choosing to trust Him, despite the circumstances.
The story is told of a young man who was sitting on a park bench reading his Bible. Suddenly he began to shout. “Praise the Lord! What a miracle!” An older, very distinguished man walking by stopped and asked what he was so excited about. The young man replied, “I was just reading how God parted the Red Sea and the whole nation of Israel walked across on dry ground.”
The older man sneered, “Don’t you know? That wasn’t a real sea at all. It was just a few inches of water.” He then turned in irritation and walked away, leaving the young man confused and discouraged. But in a few minutes, the young man began to shout again.
The unbeliever returned asking, “What are you shouting about now?” “I just read how God drowned the whole Egyptian army in just a few inches of water!”
Don’t let anyone keep you from praising God.
Don’t let any circumstance deny you the joy of giving thanks.
Praise is not optional in a life that wins over worry and doubt. Praise is a demonstration of trust and the acceptance of a circumstance without insisting that God change it. When we choose to praise God, we choose to trust Him. And when we choose to trust God, we will win over worry.
Father, I am desperate for You. Everything seems to be falling apart. I want to be a woman of faith who stands strong when trouble bombards my life, but I can’t do it alone. Today, I turn to You and celebrate the truth that You will turn to me and be my refuge. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let's Keep in Touch
June 30, 2023, Girlfriends in God is coming to a close. Thank you for linking arms with us in ministry for the past 17 years. We still want to share life with you! Click here to continue receiving devotions from Sharon Jaynes on Tuesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Mary Southerland on Wednesdays. Click here to continue receiving devotions from Gwen Smith on Thursdays.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you ever praised God when you really didn’t feel like it? If so, how did that change your attitude?
More from the Girlfriends
Are you a woman in ministry or a pastor’s wife that needs some encouragement? Check out Mary’s coaching ministry, Friends for the Journey, and get introductory prices.
© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.