Praising God; March 15, 2022

Psalm 31:19 How great is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you.

This verse was pleasantly set to music a number of years ago, and I can’t read it without the tune running through my head. That’s not a bad thing! This whole Psalm is essentially David boasting of how good God has been to him, encouraging others to praise God with him. (verses 23-24) This sort of thing needs to be done with wisdom, so that it doesn’t come across as “God likes me better.” Those last two verses both include the word “all,” emphasizing that God doesn’t play favorites, but has more than enough grace and blessings for everyone. We shouldn’t let fear of being misunderstood keep us from testifying of God’s goodness. Far too many people see God as judgmental, even vindictive, and we need to counter that misunderstanding. People do notice when God blesses us, and we need to let them know we know where those blessings come from. As the well-loved Doxology says, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.” We need to praise Him, not for His ego (!) but because we need to be reminded, as do those around us, that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

I grew up in a family that loved God and loved to sing, but the whole area of praise didn’t really open up to me until I became involved in the Charismatic Renewal around 1973. Singing praise to God really feels good! However, I’ve learned that my feelings must not be my primary motivation to praise God. That motivation should be that He is more than worthy of all the praise I could ever give Him, and more! Yes, it does feel good, and yes, it does straighten out my priorities and help me see things in perspective, but the foundation is very simply that God is so absolutely wonderful. Recently I have been very aware of His blessings, and it has been a joy to share that awareness with others. As this verse says, His blessings are poured out in the sight of other people, so I need to let them know that God loves them just as much as He does me, so that they too may praise Him.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the privilege of testifying of Your goodness in the online meeting yesterday. May I praise You consistently and draw others to do likewise, because You are totally worthy! Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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