Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 111)

"Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart" (Ps. 111:1a).

Do you know how to praise God? Have you ever ended a prayer of praise only to feel like your words were inadequate? While finite man can never fully do justice in praising God as He deserves, we have been given the means and the revelation to offer appropriate and meaningful praises to God. Calvin wrote, “Incomprehensible as is the immensity of the wisdom, equity, justice, power, and mercy of God, in His works, the faithful nevertheless acquire as much knowledge of these as qualifies them for manifesting the glory of God.”

As we return to the Psalms, Psalm 111 instructs us in praise to God. The psalmist begins by declaring how and when he will praise the Lord—with sincerity of heart and in the presence of God’s people. Appropriate praise to God must be done with a singleness of heart, with true sincerity and devotion. Our praises should not be reserved for the closet but should be manifest in the assembly of God’s people.

What should be the content of praising the Lord? First, praise Him for His works. Every act of God is replete with glorious majesty. The earth and the heavens provide manifold examples of the glory, wisdom, and power of God. Second, praise Him for His deeds of righteousness and His justice. God’s ways are holy and just. His law is perfect and reflects His glorious righteousness.

Third, praise Him for His provision in creation. He causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. He also provides for His people in a special way. He preserves them as they battle spiritual forces in this world. Fourth, He remembers His covenant with His people. He has promised that those who believe in Jesus Christ will be saved. He will remain true to that promise, for nothing can separate His elect from the love of God in Christ. Praise Him for His trustworthiness and His faithfulness, “all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever.”

Lastly, praise Him for the joy of redemption, for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died to save sinners. Praise Him for the wisdom and glory that come through the power of the Holy Spirit who leads us in righteousness until our days end.

Too often we come to the Lord with our needs and desires, neglecting to praise Him for His wondrous nature. Using this psalm and others as a guide, take some time today to solely praise the Lord. Then this Sunday at worship focus on praising God with His people.