“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.” Psalm 34:1 (NLT)
How is it possible to praise the Lord at all times? Life is hard. Problems and worries come uninvited and unexpected and certainly don’t leave us in a mood to praise. But, that’s the point. I cannot worry and praise at the same time. Worry is a great sin. It says, “God, I don’t think You can handle this one, so I must worry about it.” But, worry is stewing without doing. It’s like revving your engine – you burn a lot of gas but don’t go anywhere! The Psalmist’s presents a better option – turn your problems into praise! How? Praise God that His power is greater than your problem. It’s not denying that you are hurting or have a problem, but instead of worrying about it, you acknowledge that God is greater than any problem.
The problem with problems is never really the problem. The problem with problems is our response to them. Jesus told us we would have problems in this world. But, the good news is that all our problems are temporary! One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. It says,
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
When we praise God, we get a new perspective on our problems and experience the power of God to lift the weight of worry from our minds.
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 worry or complain, turn your problems into praise! Praise your problems back to God. 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!