If April showers bring May flowers, then our April prayers surely brought forth some May praises. As I looked back over the prayer requests from last month, many of them were answered so quickly. I’m thankful for the many who have recovered from illness, those who were kept safe from getting ill, the Lord’s provision for every need, the wisdom needed for those in authority and for those who are learning how to do their jobs in new ways, the mercy God showed in keeping the virus from spreading more than it did, and hundreds of other answers of which I am not aware. He is altogether so very good, and so worthy of our praise.
This last week, I finished reading through Job at the same time I was finishing up the Psalms. If you have ever read the book of Job, you know that Job suffered tremendous trials because of a challenge that Satan placed before God. My paraphrase of Satan’s challenge is, “Would Job serve God for nothing? Take away all that he has, and he will curse You.” Job lost all of his children, all of his earthly riches, his health, and most distressing, the awareness of God’s presence. Those who called themselves friends heaped “comfort” on Job that comprised their assessment that he must have some secret sin that caused God’s judgment. Job’s wife gave him the advice to just go ahead and curse God, so that he could die. The Bible says, though, that Job never sinned with his mouth. He did not understand why he suffered, but he trusted God to bring him through. When God answered Job at the end of his suffering, God never explained why Job went through any of these trials. God answered with who He is. His power, His knowledge, His glory led Job to the proper perspective of his own unworthiness before God.
As I finished reading God’s answer to Job, I moved to Psalm 146-150, where every chapter begins with the imperative phrase, “Praise ye the Lord.” The psalmists call God’s people to recognize God’s power, His provision, His pardon, His patience, His protection, His providence over all of Creation. Praising God is not just encouraged in the Psalms, but throughout all of God’s Word. Grateful hearts are stable hearts.
Susannah Spurgeon says of praise, “Prayer is the language of the earth, praise is the native-tongue of the angels. Praise has power to lift the soul above all care as if on wings.A Basket of Summer Fruit, pg. 54.
Understanding and knowing the God that we serve will help us keep the trials of life in a proper perspective. And God’s people shine best when they are a thankful people. Very few people enjoy spending time with complainers.
This month, my challenge is to praise the Lord on purpose every day. I have put together some passages that are by no means exhaustive, but hopefully helpful in drawing hearts to the greatness, goodness, grace, and glory of the God of all creation. We have much to be thankful for, and eternity is not long enough to speak, sing, praise, and worship the God who has given us everything.
If you would care to join me, here is a printable version to download or you can save the picture to your device. Have a wonderful week, my friends!