Whether I’m feeling victorious on God’s mountaintop or discouraged in the valley, I can count on my praise and worship of our God to lift my spirit. Whether I’m enjoying a peaceful day in the Lord or in the midst of a stormy trial; when thanksgiving and His praise fills my heart and leaves my lips, the atmosphere changes. Somehow I walk away feeling a little bit stronger. I find myself standing a little bit taller and my faith in Christ feels significantly greater. It’s a strange concept. I often wondered how praising someone else could leave me feeling encouraged.
Imagine my delight when the Lord revealed the answer to this mystery through Jesus’ praise and worship of the Father in Matthew 11:25-30.
Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”
“…Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Look at what follows Jesus’ praise, an invitation to rest. Jesus’ praise is also recorded in the book of Luke 10:21-24, and it ends with Him telling His disciples how blessed they are.
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
I like what the apostle Peter says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.[i]”
It’s no wonder we’re transformed in the midst of His praises, for it ushers us into His rest. It reminds us of the Father’s unfailing love and that we’re not alone in this. I don’t believe God is seeking praise for Himself, scripture testifies to this. I believe praying, fasting and praise is how we submit our efforts to the Spirit. I see these signs of submission being received as a gentle tug on God’s garment. Like the woman with the issue blood (see Mark 5:21-34/Luke 8:40-48), our tug draws power from God.
Rejuvenation, strength, hope, peace and rest flows to us effortlessly simply because we desire it, we desire Him. It’s not a way to manipulate God into doing things for you, if that’s your intent, you won’t receive His gift. You can’t manipulate for something that is freely given.
Be encouraged children of God. In every situation praise Him and let His Spirit take you to new heights in Him. In Jesus name. Amen.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”[ii]