Devotion - May 12

[Psalms 56-60 / Proverbs 12 / Ephesians 1:3-14]

“Oh God, to know you is life. To serve you is freedom. To praise you is the soul’s joy and delight.” – St. Augustine

How is praise going for you these days?

We are reflecting on worship all this week, and praise is an essential part of that personal worship. In the Psalms this morning, there is praise for God’s character:

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psalm 57:9-10

And praise for God’s benefits:

You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.

Psalm 59:17

Notice how often Paul refers to praise in the opening of his letter to the Ephesian believers in Ephesians 1:3-14, praising God for his glorious grace and imagining believers in Jesus living for the praise of his glory.

CS Lewis, reflecting on the command to praise, noted that all enjoyment in life spontaneously overflows into praise: “The world rings with praise—lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game—praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars.” Praise brings enjoyment to it’s fitting completion.

But what about when we aren’t enjoying life, and circumstances do not seem praiseworthy? That is when praise is especially important. All but one of the psalms of lament ends with a vow to praise – a promise based in God’s character and goodness.

I encourage you today, especially if you are discouraged, to spend time praising God throughout the day. Let’s not do this selfishly, because of the transformation that praising God works in our own lives, but sincerely, because God is worthy of all praise. The Lord delights in us, rejoicing over us in singing (Zephaniah 3:17) – let’s delight in him today.
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