In times of trouble he will shelter me;
he will keep me safe in his Temple
and make me secure on a high rock.
So I will triumph over my enemies around me.
With shouts of joy I will offer sacrifices in his Temple;
I will sing, I will praise the Lord. (verses 5,6)
Read Psalm 27
The psalms are full of expressions of praise. There’s praise for who God is and what he does, for his wonderful creation, for his power over enemies, for his protection. No wonder the church has always made great use of the book of Psalms in its worship.
There was a time where I thought praise was overrated. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable with saying ‘Praise the Lord!’ all the time. But then I started to look more closely at my life. I began to see that there were lots of things in my life to praise God for. There was my spouse, of course, and my children. I had a rewarding job and treasured friends. I was thankful to God for helping me stay focused in my last assignment, for answering my prayer about how to work out a relational issue with a work colleague.
Gradually my focus is changing. My thankyou list is getting longer and longer. I’m beginning to see situations in a different light, expecting to see God at work. My attitude is changing. I’m looking for the good and positive and, guess what, I’m finding it. My desires are shifting from being selfish to selfless. I’m seeking blessings for others, prayerfully building them up, encouraging them and rejoicing with them.
Praise really is life-changing. So don’t worry, just praise. And enjoy the change.
I praise you, Lord, for loving me, for willingly involving yourself in every minute of my life. Thank you. Amen.
by Janet Eiby, in ‘Refreshment for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2003)
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