Friday, July 6, 2007

July 6, 2007

"From the rising of the sun til the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113: 3

Have you ever noticed how many of our praise and worship choruses have their origin in scripture? I first heard this verse as a chorus the youth sang when I was a counselor at camp one summer. I had no idea it was in the Bible and then one day I ran across it as I was reading.

I have often heard that happiness depends on circumstances, but joy is constant. The difference is that our circumstances can to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. Therefore we can be happy one minute and devastated the next. But joy comes from the Lord. Our joy is IN the Lord and He is the one true constant in our lives. Whether we are happy or sad, elated or downcast, flying high or grief-stricken...the Lord is still there. He never lets us down and never lets us go. He is in the very midst of our circumstances. So if we are having a wonderful day, the sun is shining and all is right with the world, He wants us to praise Him. Or if the clouds have turned dark, the storm clouds have rolled in and our heart is in turmoil, He still wants us to praise Him, for He is there. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Hallelujah!!

Hebrews tells us that He inhabits the praise of His people. Praising God in the difficult circumstances of our life is not as easy as it sounds. But God promises that HE is there, He is in the midst of our praise! I guess that is why I love the praise music so much. It puts our focus on Him and when our focus is on Him, it is not on our circumstances. So the next time you find yourself in the midst of trying circumstances, find a Psalm that gives praise to the Lord. Write it down, carry it with you throughout the day, read it often, giving praise back to the Lord. Turn on the radio to a Christian station (I like and turn your eyes on the only One who can give you true joy.

A song that speaks so well to that is I WILL PRAISE YOU IN THE STORM by Casting Crowns:

I was sure by now God
You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But, once again, I say "Amen"
And it's still raining.

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as your mercy falls
I raise my hand and praise the God
Who gives and takes away.

I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For you are who you are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm.

Today, if things are good and going your way, PRAISE HIM. Or if you are in the midst of a storm, big or small, PRAISE HIM. He is ALWAYS there and for THIS you have JESUS!!
"The joy of the Lord is my strength." Nehemiah 8:10

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