I was involved this morning in an unusual time of praise. Our church celebrated the 25th anniversary of the man God chose to lead our church away from loss and despair, and toward the liberating road to revival and renewal. We praised Pastor Jack Graham and reminisced through video and testimonials about the growth of the church under his leadership. We thanked him for not only staying the course, but pointing us toward God’s plan for the future of our church.
Had this been the leader of a corporation or the commander of our armed forces, the focus would have been on the individual and all of his rightly-deserved accomplishments. Yet, in the instance of this celebration, the focus was not only directed at our pastor, but on our God who led him to us, gave him the vision for our future and inspires him still to move us onward and upward.
When praise is directed at the One who makes all things possible, it is true praise indeed. “For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised.” Psalm 96:4a (KJV) “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.” Psalm 92:1 (KJV) “Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” Psalm 107:8 (KJV)
Our choir sings a song entitled “Total Praise,” made famous by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The lyrics are taken from Psalm 121 beginning:
“Lord, I will lift mine eyes to the hills,
knowing my help is coming from you.
Your peace you give me in time of the storm.
You are the source of my strength.
You are the strength of my life.
I lift my hands in total praise to you.”
The song concludes with a series of Amen’s that cascade and crescendo in a waterfall of praise. I have made a habit of starting each day by listening to this song, because it places me in a position of praise from which I can begin to worship the Most High God.
Praise comes from the Spirit of God in you. The more you reflect on God’s power in your life, the more likely you are to thank Him and praise Him for His goodness, His direction, His mercy, His provision, His faithfulness.
God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3) – scripture tells us He is enthroned on the hearts of those who love Him. So praise Him on the good days, and even more on the days that deliver challenges. Practice thanksgiving to experience the rewards of peace and expectancy. Witness your own metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary!
God’s best to you!