Conntecting the Dots

Praise—Intentional Act, Life-Changing Practice

It’s hot today, and I’ve thrown open my sliding glass door to catch a breeze. But because I now live along a busy city thoroughfare, opening my door also means street noise enters my house.

Psalm 34-1,2

I hear a constant rush of motors and the occasional police siren or booming of a car radio cranked too loud. I hear my neighbor’s drilling and hammering as he works on a backyard project. His two dogs bark at squirrels taunting them from the towering trees between our yards. But amidst the din rises a sound of a completely different type—bird songs.

 

Sometimes the street noise threatens to drown out the birds’ chirps and trills. Thankfully, it cannot do so. My wee feathered friends are nature’s choristers. God created them to sing, and the neighborhood’s noise cannot silence them.

 

The birds’ persistent enthusiasm reminds me of the psalmist’s words:

 

“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are discouraged take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness, let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:1-3).

 

We may feel sometimes as though the stuff of life bombards us like the street noise invades my living room. Worry and fear threaten to squelch our peace and steal our joy. But when our minds are focused on Jesus and His truth rather than on our circumstances, a song rises within our hearts—a song of praise to the One who created us for fellowship with Himself and who promises to be our ever-present strength in times of need.

 

Sometimes offering a song of praise requires an intentional act, especially when we feel discouraged. It appears the psalmist felt the same way: “I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD.” And then he invited others to join him in doing the same.

 

Today, my friend, I invite you to join me in offering songs of praise to the LORD. No matter what your circumstances, praise Him for His sovereignty over them, for His faithfulness to you in the midst of them, and for His power to lead you through them.

 

How can we be intentional? Easy. Every time we catch ourselves thinking or saying something negative about our situation, let’s turn it around with a praise song. Our circumstances might not change, but guaranteed our perspective will.

 

Are you with me on this? If so, take a moment to list one item of praise to the Lord. I’ll start: “Today I praise God for caring about every little detail of my life.” Now it’s your turn.

4 Responses to “Praise—Intentional Act, Life-Changing Practice”

  1. Marge Bennett

    I’ve discovered that Praising God……..I love those little praise choruses we learned long ago…………I sing praises to your Name……can chase away fear. Being thankful intentionally can cause us to see how blessed we really are.
    Such as……….when bending over to pick something off the floor, I remember that I “can” bend over, where some people can’t. I just discovered that if I praise God over and over, I don’t run to get something to eat. Praising God is beautiful, and it honours Him and blesses you!

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Yes, yes, yes!! I soooo agree with what you’ve said. There’s a reason God tells us to praise Him and to maintain an attitude of thanksgiving!

      Reply
  2. Marge Bennett

    2 Chronicles 20:15-22 is a good example of the Power of Praise. and then,

    Psalm 96:4 says “The Lord is great and greatly to be praised”.

    Just the purposeful act of praising Him breaks through all the negative stuff.
    Then you just end up smiling and praising and smiling and remembering just how wonderful and lovely our beautiful God is.

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Those are great scriptures, Marge. Thanks for sharing them with us. You’re right–the act of praise breaks through the negative stuff. And it’s a choice we make. Imagine–we can have a lot of control over our mental outlook towards our circumstances.

      Reply

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