Give praise where it is due.
Working in the education system for several years in my capacity as chaplain had its awkward moments. There were occasions when from my vantage point I could see what a teacher could not. Sometimes it appeared that certain students simply never received a word of encouragement or praise no matter what they had done, while other students were soaked in praise when perhaps it wasn’t really appropriate. Even the system of school awards at weekly assemblies didn’t seem all that genuine at times. More than once I can recall a conversation that went something like this, “it’s not fair, I never get an award even though I do my best”, or “so and so always gets an award .The teacher just doesn’t like me”. Quite honestly I think it was more the way a teacher felt rather than what the child did that generated a response of praise.
What provokes you to praise God? Is it the way you feel or a response to who He is?
Ponder for a moment the opening verses of Psalm 33:1-4. “1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for Him on the ten-stringed harp.3 Sing a new song of praise to Him; play skilfully on the harp, and sing with joy.4 For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything He does.”
It is fitting, which means it is appropriate to praise Him. Why, because the word of the Lord holds true and we can trust everything He does. If you take the time to read further in the Psalm you will see further reason to praise Him. Verses 6-11 describes His almighty power, 13-17 tells us He fully understands everything about us, 18-19 God is vigilant and rescues those who trust Him, 20-22 And because of who He is, we can trust Him and hope in His unfailing love.
It is indeed a worthy response to praise the name of God for who He is, regardless of our immediate circumstance. We have good days and bad days, days where life from a human perspective seems perfect and days we might feel as if nothing at all is going our way. In a world which is broken and full of turmoil we live a life that can so easily be tossed around. Pain and suffering unfortunately are part of the human condition, even for those that have surrendered their lives to Jesus are not immune from distress and disaster.
So as we praise Him, may our posture be one like the Psalmist’s, so we can declare with absolute confidence that,
20 We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
21 In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.