The book of Psalms has been described as a medicine chest for our souls. In it we can find laments for the downtrodden, cries to God in trying times, and offerings of praise and thanksgiving. Whatever ails you, you will find balm in the Psalter.
Woven throughout the psalms of praise in particular is this foundational truth: the Lord is God and we are His. Our very existence as God’s people is an indication of who He is. Once we weren’t a people, but now we are a people. Once we hadn’t received mercy, but now we receive mercy daily (1 Peter 2:10).
The truth of the matter is that we are not our own. We never were. We are image-bearing creatures formed by a mighty Creator. He is the Potter who fashioned us, and “we are his.” Further, we are redeemed sinners, “bought with a price” by a loving Savior (1 Corinthians 6:20). He is the Shepherd who gave His life for us and now tends to us (John 10:11-15), and “we are his.” We are twice-bought: in creation and in redemption, we are His.
Therefore, what is now ours in the Lord Jesus Christ is not an occasion for pride but for praise. Knowing that the Lord is God and that we are His will prompt us to praise and thank Him (Psalm 100:3).
Praise is the spontaneous acknowledgment of what is valuable. People naturally praise what they treasure. God is our Maker and our Redeemer, and He is therefore entitled to and worthy of our praise. No one and nothing deserves your praise more than Him.
Even in less-than-ideal circumstances, we still have reason to praise God simply because of who He is. When we bid farewell to a loved one or we lose a job that provides our earthly comforts, we can still choose to praise Him. When our voices are choked with tears, when our hearts fail us, when our circumstances frustrate us, when life seems to let us down—we may still find in God’s “steadfast love” that “endures forever” (Psalm 100:5) endless reason for joyful worship and thankful praise. He is never less than your mighty Creator and loving Savior.
A thankful heart is a distinctive mark of the Christian experience. Let it mark you today.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Praise the Name of the Lord
1Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.1
7Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!
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