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January 8, 2014

The Power of Praise

“Praise the Lord! Let all that I am praise the Lord.”

Psalm 146:1

Are you a praiser? Think about that before you answer too quickly. Really evaluate your attitude and conversations of late. Are they filled with praise or complaints? Are they positive in nature or more negative and fault finding? Because we are all part of a fallen world, it’s human nature to complain. The Christ follower is different or is supposed to be. Even as Christ followers, we can be pulled back into that vortex of negativity.  It was what kept the people of Israel in the wilderness wandering around for forty years when God’s intention was to give them the blessing of a promised land! What about you? I want to challenge you to eliminate negativity in your life in 2014. It simply blocks God’s blessings in your life when you grumble and gripe and complain. I find there are two types of people that I can become: a praiser or a complainer. I can be positive and faith-filled or I can be negative and filled with fear. Praisers live by faith. Complainers live by fear. Praise doesn’t deny the problems you have nor the pain you feel. Praise simply lifts them to God with the unshatterable confidence that He is greater than any problem and can heal my hurts with His love and power. That’s the secret of praise! It’s the power of praise that the psalmists offer us throughout the 150 chapters in Psalms. I love the way it ends. The last five chapters of Psalms close the book with a crescendo of praise! Each chapter from Psalm 146 to Psalm 150 begins and ends the same – “Praise the Lord!”  Let me ask you. Is that a request or a command? I think the exclamation point may give it away. You see praise is a choice. Will you choose to be a praiser? It will take practice. Every time you are tempted to complain, gripe and grumble, turn your problems into praise! Praise your problems back to God. The problem with problems is never the problem. The problem with problems is our response to them. Consider this for a moment – all our problems are temporary!  When I worry about them, I’m saying, “God, I don’t think you can handle this one, so I must worry about it.” Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Worry is like revving up your engine. It burns a lot of gas but doesn’t get you anywhere. When I praise my problems back to God, I’m not denying them. I’m admitting honestly to Him how I feel and that I don’t like what is happening or seem powerless to do anything about it, but I am praising Him that He cares and has the power to do what He chooses in His time, and because He loves me it will be for my good! Discover the power of praise in your life in 2014! Be a praiser!