Psalm 113

Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.  From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.  The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.  Praise the LORD.

Why should we praise the Lord, no matter what? Well, first because He’s working everything together for our good (Romans 8:28).  Paul also told us, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil 4:4) He was writing to the Philippians, who were suffering terrible persecution. Paul knew that rejoicing is the key to internal peace  regardless of external circumstances (Phil 4:7).  And James said, “Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2) They knew God’s character and his ways.

Second, there seems to be a law of reciprocity at work between us and the Lord.    If we don’t judge we won’t be judged. If we don’t condemn we won’t be condemned.  If we forgive we’ll be forgiven.  If we give generously, the Lord will be generous toward us.  (Luke 6:37-38)  And if we praise the Lord, He’ll make sure we have something to praise Him for.  He makes our world mirror the attitude of our heart and reflect it back to us.

He said that He came so we could have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) but unless we’re sincerely grateful for what we’ve already received, and have learned to be content in our current situation, we’re unlikely to receive more.  This is why the so-called prosperity gospel is flawed.  Rather than promote an attitude of gratitude based on what we’ve already been given,  it creates an attitude of greed, based on the expectation of more.

Now and then people write to me complaining that they’ve already done everything they’re supposed to do, prayer, fasting, Bible study, tithing, etc, but God is not doing His part.  Invariably one thing is lacking.  They’re not thankful for what they already have.  In some cases they’re actually a little bit angry with God for not giving them more.  They don’t realize that God didn’t have to give us anything, and therefore our ingratitude for the blessings He’s showered down upon us anyway is tragic.

If you’re thinking that God hasn’t done enough for you lately, start today to change your attitude.  Make a list of all the blessings you can remember receiving and then praise Him for them.  As He brings more to your mind, praise Him for them too, and keep going until it becomes a habit.  And don’t be stingy about it.  You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. ( Deut. 8:17-18)

Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.  From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.


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