In this final installment of the praise series, we will consider just how subdued and weak even our greatest attempts to praise and glorify God really are. I do not mean to suggest that they are ineffective or that they do not come from the heart, but in a sense, it is impossible for man to praise God properly and to the fullest extent that we would desire while we are here on earth. As long as we remain in our mortal bodies, we have sin within us, and for the believer to move past that sin and enter into the presence of our Lord, even in the Spirit, is a task that we of course cannot do to the fullest.
It is incredulous for any believer to think that we can attain to the heights of heavens glory to sing unto our Lord the praise, honor and glory He rightly deserves. To be sure we should try, with all of our being we should try, but to the ascend to the lofty heights that the Most High abodes in is beyond our capabilities. The spirit of man is willing, but feeble cries are the best that we can attain to. No man can put every single thought aside that flows through his mind as he approaches our Lord to offer Him praise, the day’s needs, the past and present all reside there, and so a singularity of thought is unattainable to us, it is the effort that our Lord rewards, the desire to lift up His Name.
I believe God is well pleased with our attempts though, He does not sit upon His throne seeking for possible demerit points while we seek to glorify Him, He is not upset when our minds wander, He understands completely. We are not speaking here only of our time alone in “our closet,” (Matt. 6:6) but of those times also when we meet a fellow Christian on the street and joy enters into our heart, when it is difficult for us to sing all of the words to the songs on Sunday morning, for our heart is welling up with tears of love for the love that He has for us. It is these times when our praise is well heard, when we truly realized how blessed we are, and our hearts true hunger to be in His presence flows from us without any effort on our part.
When they come from the deepest recesses of our souls, when they are sent to His throne with no other intent than that His Name would be exalted above the heavens, when the joy of our Lord is the only motive, then He is pleased. It is so much easier for us to give the gory to God when things are going well, when all in life is as we desire it to be, and yes, we should give Him praise in these times, but not because we fear that ‘evil’ times may be approaching if we don’t, or that the ‘good’ has lasted longer than anticipated, so there must be a test or tribulation coming our way. These are not the thoughts that anyone who trust fully in His promises should ever have, for then praise becomes no more than a talisman in hopes that everything will continue to go ‘normally,’ that His hand would always be upon us for what we consider ‘good.’
It is in the dry times, when the trials and tribulations that he allows or even sends our way, that our true faith and trust in Him is shown, and these are the moments of time when praise means the most to Him, and shows us that we truly do believe in His provision, mercy and faithfulness towards us. No man can truly say just how they will react in these times, for they are rarely what we expect. It is one thing to attend to a loved one who has experienced a traumatic lose, it is quite another to experience it for yourself. When we find that a dear brother or sister in Christ has fallen to temptation, and the terrible effects of that sin in their lives, we comfort them and then many times return to our house and convince ourselves that we would not do the same, (Gal. 6:1) and perhaps we would not, but there is always something, there is always a temptation that is designed just for us, if you will, by our adversary, and my friends, fall we will. We ask for His help when the temptations arrive, but in those moments when the season of sin seems pleasurable, (Heb. 11:25) seldom do we praise Him, instead we fall willingly, and then when we come to ourselves, repentance is restored when sought, and praise can continue. Praise in a dry season is sweeter to our Lords ears that when there are no storms on the horizon.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, (2nd Tim. 3:16) therefore, all praise in the Holy Bible is from each member of the trinity to the other, a continuous, glorious unending adoration that we will never be able to truly comprehend. We can only use these as examples of how our Lord desires to be glorified. It is one of the main reasons for us to memorize Scripture verses, especially those ones of praise of, and to, our Lord, these illustrations are our blueprint, our pattern, our example of how true praise is to be offered.
Praise of our Lord does not consider the circumstances or the situation, it cares nothing of what the world has to offer, nor what it cares about our lifting up of His Holy Name. The praise of God can be both in a corporeal setting or by ourselves, alone with only the Lord on our mind. It is not, and should not be only given when we are experiencing a life that is moving along as we planned, though hopefully those plans were the ones that He has set before you, but should also be given when the world seems to be crashing down around us, when our emotions are confused, when we can’t see the future any more that we had planned for ourselves. What do you have that you did not receive, (1st Cor. 4:7) if everything that we have is from the Lord, should we not praise Him for it, if nothing happens to the believer unless it passes through the throne of His grace first, should we not praise His name for whatever comes our way. How could we not praise continually the only One who is sovereign, the only one worthy of praise, glory, and honor.
Perhaps when we receive our glorified bodies in heaven we will be able to honor our Lord above all that we can imagine, but I still do not believe it will ever reach a point that will truly express just how wonderful and glorious He is. Until then, do not stop, whether the circumstances in your life are ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ lift up the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord at every opportunity you can, by the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of our Most gracious heavenly Father.