How to Praise God in 2019
All I want to do is learn how to praise God in this new year. How do I do this when I am so focused upon myself? I wonder how others perceive me. Do they appreciate me? Do they accept me? Do they love me? What do they say about me, after I’ve left their company? Do people believe me? Am I credible? I sometimes feel very inadequate, even stupid. Who am I trying to fool? I’m sure everyone knows I am a fake. What do you think? Do you feel this way sometimes?
In spite of the fact that kids grow up hearing words like “good job,” “you’re awesome,” “you’re the best,” etc., they still often end up as adults with low self-esteem, lacking self-confidence and a sense of worth. We live in a society that often hides under a very thin veneer of back-scratching and window-dressing, leading to hypocritical, shallow relationships that leave people feeling insecure and unsure of themselves and their abilities. Who am I? What am I good at? What do I have to offer that people will appreciate?
It’s hard if not impossible to praise someone else, let alone God, if I don’t feel good about myself. How does one develop a healthy sense of self-worth? Others telling me “You’re fantastic” doesn’t cut it. It actually makes me feel worse. So why not start with the most believable Being in the universe, God Himself? What does He think of you? He says He made you “wonderfully complex” (Psalm 139:14). David continues by saying, “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God” (Psalm 139:17). He pledges that His love for you will never end (Jeremiah 31:3). He watches over you and protects you like the “apple of His eye” (Deuteronomy 32:10). He loved you so much that He gave His only Son to die so you can live (John 3:16). He thinks the world of you!
What examples of praising God are there in Scripture? Angels praise God, as in Luke 2 where they sing “Glory to God in the highest, . . .” Then there’s David in the Psalms, e.g. Psalms 145-150. In Psalm 145:3 NLT David sings, “Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!” In verse 5 he says, “I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor.” I have often wondered, how I do that? I have not seen God’s “splendor.” As a sinful human, I cannot see God and live (cf. Exodus 33:20). How then can I praise God’s splendor if I cannot see His splendor? The rest of verse 5 explained it to me, where the text explains that God’s “majestic, glorious splendor” is seen in his “wonderful miracles.”
Have you seen God’s glorious splendor? If not, I want to invite you to set that as a goal for 2019. How do I praise God? David sets it out in plain language in Psalm 145. Open your Bible, read and meditate on that whole psalm. Here is a sample of what praising God means, in verses 4-9:
4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.
5 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.
6 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness.
7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
8 The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.
When I praise God, I am meditating on and telling of His “mighty acts” or miracles in my life. That sounds like sharing a testimony, my testimony of how God has and is working in my life! I want to invite and challenge you to join me in learning how to praise God better in 2018. Will you do that?