Thursday, March 22, 2018

Praise at All Times - Martin Wiles

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. Psalm 34:1 NLT
Praising God in the bad times is illogical.
Throughout my lifetime, I’ve witnessed all types of behavior by believers. Praising God when something bad happens is the strangest. A financial crunch occurs and a vehicle is repossessed. Praise God, it could have been worse. They owe the IRS more than $10,000 in back taxes. Praise God, I could owe more. For years, they slave at their job without a raise. Praise God, at least I have a job. Children rebel or get killed in a tragic accident. Praise God, He knows what He’s doing. A spouse hits the road never to return. Praise God, He’ll get me through it.
Looking at this apparent illogical behavior, it appears these believers are doing the same thing the psalmist proclaimed he did. Though he praised God at all times, he never said he was happy about what was happening. Such as when Paul later said to give thanks in all things. He didn’t say to be thankful for bad things but to thank God in the bad times as well as in the good times.
I’ve been a believer for forty-seven years, and, in most cases, have copied the behavior of the Christians I’ve known as well as the psalmist. The list of things God has led me through is lengthy. I’ve never made a parallel chart, but it’s possible the taxing times might be longer than the pleasant times.
Either way, I’ve learned my praise shouldn’t depend on the circumstances. If it does, I might fuss at God more than I praise Him. Whatever the circumstances, He is in charge and has my best interests at heart. He has to. Doing so is in His nature. He never acts to harm but always to conform me to His Son’s image.
God is continually available to receive my praise. Unlike most places I call, He doesn’t have a menu option to choose from. My line to Him is direct, as is every believer’s. Nor is there a wait due to heavy usage. God functions in the kind of time that allows Him to hear everyone at the same time.
God knows my faith grows in the crucibles, so praising Him when in them is vital. His wisdom lets Him know when to deliver me from them and when to guide me through them.
Praise God at all times. Doing so makes for a wonderful life.

Prayer: Father, give us faith to praise You, regardless of what You send or allow into our lives. 

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