“If anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
“Praise is recognition of who God is, and celebration of what He has done, and will do.”
My thoughts today are about “a breath of fresh air.”
I believe that you most often find what you are looking for in life. That being true, wouldn’t it be best to actually choose what you want to see rather than whatever you happen to notice first? There is so much bad that is readily visible, but there is also so much good, and I believe that there is more good to be seen than most people choose to notice.
You won’t have to look far to find something about which to criticize or complain, if that’s what you want to do. But why would you want to do that? You won’t feel better when you see only what’s wrong in yourself or others, and neither will others around you.
But what if you were to deliberately look for things to praise? What if you looked for things in other people that you could commend? At things in your life for which you are thankful? When you look around and nothing for the moment seems to be worthy of praise, look up! God is praiseworthy all the time. I think you would feel better about that, and better about yourself. You don’t feel better when you are negative? That only makes something that was already bad seem worse. There is nothing so bad but what praise can make you feel better.
Stop right now and think of someone for which you can praise God that they are in your life. For what else can you praise God – for daily food, for sufficient provision, for work, for health, for friendships? Here’s what the Bible says, “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.” Psalm 147:1 NKJV. God considers your praise to be beautiful, and the Creator knows what real beauty is, doesn’t He?
Praise will give you victory when nothing else can. “Jehosaphat appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: ‘Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.’ Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes . .” 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NKJV. Praise is the recognition of who God is and celebration of what He has done, and will do.
Praise will get you out of tough places. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:25 KJV. God opened prison doors for Paul and Silas. Remember Jonah? “I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise.” Jonah 2:9 NLT. Praise released him when nothing else could. Everything goes better with praise.
Praise will take you places you could not otherwise go. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4 NLT. Can you imagine someone trying to enter God’s presence with only complaint and ingratitude? I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work very well. But praise from your heart will bring you into God’s presence when nothing else will. Praise is healthy for you. Praise does your soul good, like a breath of fresh air! Here is what God thinks about your praise: “Praise from the upright is beautiful.” Psalm 33:1 NKJV.
My prayer for you today is to find what’s good and dwell on that.