It really pays to give praise and thanks to our Lord Jesus. Yea! I know you’ve probably heard this before and it may sound all spiritual, I get that. But when you have had a personal experience with the blessing that followed before, during, or after praising The Lord, you know exactly what I mean when I say it PAYS TO PRAISE! Some of you may be wondering where is he going with this praise business? If so, I’m glad that I have caught your attention.
Several days ago I was talking to my brother, correction I was complaining to my brother, about how it feels when people take you for granted. It seems like when you go out of your way to help people these days, they often do little or nothing to show their appreciation. That’s when the Holy Spirit reminded me what’s written in the Bible …
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.
Jesus knew that in this life there would be injustices and if you’re not prepared to deal with them, be prepared for a world of hurt. I knew better then to allow my emotions to get the better of me. Yet, it took a moment before I yielded myself over to the Holy Spirit whose still, small voice said, “What’s stopping you from giving thanks to The Lord? For praising God in heaven for all He’s done for you?” I wasn’t expecting that but never the less I immediately started giving thanks for His mercies, His grace and for His forgiveness of my sins. I asked God to please forgive me for focusing so much on myself and thanked you for empowering me to get pass this “blind spot” that I created for myself. (Speaking of “blind spots,” I’ve got a great post coming out on that soon.) And, I noticed that my mood shifted from woe is me to unspeakable joy.
While I was praising and giving thanks to The Lord, I looked outside of our dinning room window to see the trees in our backyard swaying back and forth. Now this wasn’t the typical blustering wind before a thunderstorm. The wind picked up so rapidly that without warning the trees and their branches were whipping around uncontrollably. All of a sudden I heard a loud crack and then a boom. A huge fourteen foot tree branch broke off from the maple tree that over looks our driveway and crashed to the ground.
Now here’s why it Pays to Praise. Earlier that day my brother and I joined Amy and my youngest, Ella, for her class picnic. When we all arrived home, I had opened the garage door to let Amy pull her car into the garage. I, then, parked our SUV behind her outside the garage. My brother, Greg, asked me why I had parked so cockeyed and suggested that I should backup and park in the driveway the right way … reluctantly, I complied. When we went into the house things weren’t how they normally are — Greg usually pulls his car all the way to the front of the driveway by the big oak tree … I usually park behind him … and we usually close the garage door … none of which we did that afternoon. Thank God I listened to my brother because if I hadn’t that tree branch would have landed on the roof and hood of our Volvo XC90 and completely totaled our SUV. Not to mention, it would have crashed through the closed garage door significantly damaging our other car. And what’s more, if Greg and I had parked our cars side by side, this branch would have taken out his car too! That’s what I call, “The Lord working all things for my good.”
There is a saying, “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” While there is not an actual scripture that says this verbatim, the Bible is full of scriptures that remind us and tell us how good it is to praise The Lord. Psalm 22:3 reminds us that God inhabits the praises of his people. To inhabit means to have a home in or to be present with … Oh how good it is to know that God is with us!
Deuteronomy 10:21 says, He is the one you praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. When this tree branch fell and missed our car by mere inches, Amy and I literally couldn’t believe our eyes. We praised God all the more, not because of what He did in sparing us the expense and headache of dealing with such a catastrophe, but because of who He is!
I would like to make you aware of two things which will stop a person from giving thanks and will kill your praise right in its tracks …..ENTITLEMENT. That’s right, you heard me, taking those noteworthy praises for granted or minimizing them once they passed. How quickly we forget what God has done or spared us from. The other culprit that will kill your praise is PRIDE, the belief that you are responsible for the outcome. Who are we quicker to praise, God or ourselves? As you read this week’s post, I hope you do your own reflecting on the blessings, big or small, that God has showered on your life. And, that you “Get your Praise on!”