Journal Ps 149-150 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Praise the Lord!!
Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
- Praise his name with dancing;
- Making melody to him with tambourine and lyre;
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds—Let the high praises of God be in their throats…” Ps 149:1-6a
Observation: “Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits (suits) the upright.” Ps 33:1
There are probably hundreds more verses like these. What is the main occupation of a Believer? Praise, and the synonyms: admiration, commendation, approval, acclaim, give tribute, applause, compliment, worship, honor, ADORE, celebrate, and more.
This is a good reminder for me today.
Analysis: Holidays are my nemesis. They are not fun.
One of the things that I have learned (or tried to learn) over my years is that Praise must override my emotions and/or feelings; that is, being happy is not related to praising God. Oh, it can be, and it is wonderful when it correlates that way. But real praise, the praise that God takes notice of is praise through my tears.
“My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: How I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Ps 42:3-5
“…to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord…” Is 61:3
Praise is closely related to thankfulness. When circumstances invade and conquer my wants and desires, thwart my plans, and cause chaos where my vision thought should be otherwise, praise to God (who holds all things in his hands) is warranted—despite my wanting otherwise.
I show how much I trust God when complaints supplant praise.
How hard is this? Muy difficult. Defaulting to praise instead of complaint is a reflex trained in times of goodness and not turmoil. And, like training my muscles to stay toned, this reflex must be trained daily—otherwise it will fail when I need it the most.
Prayer: Save me, O Lord, from being morose. I am not looking forward to all the discussions I am due to have with my family because I failed to prepare adequately. I don’t know how to proceed with wisdom.
Prepare humility in me; make my words full of truth and not self-protection.
I want the oil of gladness poured over me, please.