God’s Love in His Gift of Praise | Gratitude, Hope, FaithDecember 18, 2014 - Author: Bernadette Saddik
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5 KJV
Praise God, even in hardship. Even in hardship.
Now consider what a gift praise is. Expressing thanks to God is no passive activity, nor is it a one-way expression of love from us to God.
The nature of praise (thanksgiving, gratefulness) is His gift to our hope and faith. Especially in hardship.
“How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?…But I have trusted in Thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:2, 5-6 KJV
When our burdens overwhelm us, turn to God. In praising Him, we are reminded of the joyful future which His salvation promises. Even if you cannot see it now, you are surrounded with blessings. Blessings which, at the very least, add up to God’s wonderful purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
With these, we look forward in hope.
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:5-6 KJV
Christ loves us so much that He died for us sinners. He, Who cares for the withering grass and the small sparrows. We walk trusting that what God has done so far is significant for the ones He made in His very own image.
And our lives do unfold into a praiseworthy journey.
Remember the woman who bled for years? No doctor knew what to do for her. She was a lost cause. Yet, God brought her straight to the robes of the Gentle Healer. It took twelve years. Twelve! Were those years meaningless? No!
God planned for her to be healed directly by Christ Himself when He walked among us. He planned for her journey to be an inspiration to you, me, and many others. Because of her faith, Christ healed her — in His own time, according to His grace-filled plan. Matthew 9:20-22
The account of the bleeding woman demonstrates that a hopeful future is indeed fulfilled (not per our flawed timing) if we have faith.
And what is faith without praise?
“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith…may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” from 1 Peter 1:7 NIV
So, not only is praise a powerful motivator for hope, but it also is an affirmation of faith. It strengthens us in strengthening our knowledge of that special contract with God which faith represents — I trust in You, God, and You will not let me down.
You, Lord, provide abounding reasons for me to have faith in You. Let me list them in my gratitude. And as I list them, You raise my countenance from the depth of sorrows and fill me with the light of hope. How can darkness survive when You manifestly nourish me?
Is this not praise?
Being grateful, praising God, is an instant reminder of the intricate weave that ties our ordinary moments to our extraordinary God.
For blessings, including ‘simple’ blessings — a blink, a heartbeat, a breath, a new song, a friend, another day — mean that we have One Who loves us.
Thanksgiving is a powerful reminder that we are not alone…
That we have a mighty Shepherd Who fought the worst of wolves for us, and won…
That we have a loving Saviour Who gives life to us then asks for our troubles…
That we are children of a merciful God Who gives us a purpose to live for in this broken world…
Praise is encouraging.
Praise is sustaining.
Praise is rejuvenating.
I pray that my eyes may be open in gratitude to the joy-filled adventures through which God certainly guides me to a hopeful future.
Care to join me?
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Romans 5:1-4 KJV
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23:4, 6 KJV