Joyful Praise

"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High." Psalm 9:1-2
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Choice. Five times the Psalmist states "I will." Praising him is a choice from our free will. No matter the circumstances of life--loss or failed relationships, concern for our children, health issues, insecurity, pain, or you-name-it--we are to exercise our free will and praise God in the circumstances. Why?

"For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne judging righteously." Psalm 9:4

The character of God is holy. His righteousness extends from that. He doesn't play games with us, tease or taunt us by 'holding out the lollipop" then snatching it away just as we reach for it.

"But the LORD abides forever; he has established his throne for judgment, and he will judge the world in righteousness; he will execute judgment for the peoples with equity." Psalm 9:7-8

His goodness is unchanging. Because we live in a fallen, sin-orchestrated world difficulties come to us. But God...will use those circumstances to purify and mature our faith.

Whatever we are going through, he has a greater purpose than we can see. To look at someone else's life and think they have it better or worse than we do is a trap from the enemy. 

God does not show partiality. He brings into our lives the outcome that will cause us to seek him. He is our strong tower that we can run to, the solid rock that will never crumble beneath our feet.

"The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know your name will put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:9-10

With this kind of reassurance, can we not make the choice for praise to "ever be on our lips?"

"Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; declare among the peoples his deeds. For he who requires blood remembers them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. Be gracious to me, O LORD; see my affliction from those who hate me, you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may tell of all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation" Psalm 9:11-14

And the icing on the cake of the believer's life:

"...those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day." John 6:37-40

by Marilyn Allison