Nov 11, 2008

Worship of the Eternal God - Part 3 of 3

by Paul Fritz

In this final installment of our discussion of worship, we discuss less about what worship is, but how it impacts us. The key text is Hebrews 13:15. “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

There are numerous benefits of praise that are overlooked by many. Those who appropriate them are enriched, empowered and enabled by the Spirit of God to experience higher levels of Christlike transformation, fruitfulness and blessings.

1. Lighter Loads and Less Frustration - People who praise God for His power, sovereignty and omnipotence do not have to carry around excess burdens and frustrations. When we praise God during times of distress, disappointment or difficulty we are able to completely give all the weight of adverse circumstances to the Lord’s care. When we praise God for His mighty power we acknowledge that we are weak and He is strong. Praise helps us realize that He is able to take us through dark valleys and bring us through according to His will.

2. Lessened Guilt - Those who praise God are released from the burden of guilt when they experience the freedom of God’s forgiveness and cleansing from all our unrighteousness. Praising God for His ability to free us from the tyranny and power of sin enables us to give up our negativity toward ourselves and others as well. Praising God helps us realize that He purifies, perfects and cleanses us through the blood of Christ.

3. Lessened Judgmentalism - Greater praise helps us realize that we too easily become disappointed with ourselves and others because of our critical sinful nature. When we praise God it helps us realize that judgment is the Lord’s and not our business. Praise helps us remember that if we sin we do so to the Lord and He will repay to each for what they have done. We can leave all judgment to the Lord to recompense everyone justly.

4. Lessened Complaints - When we praise God for who He is and what He has done we reduce the tendency to murmur and complain about our hurt feelings. Praise reinvigorates us with a renewed sense of appreciation for how He helps us overcome evil instead of allowing evil to overcome us. Praise has a way of soothing our hurt feelings and minimizing our self-pity. Paul learned how to be content in every circumstance because He knew that He could praise God for the promise, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

5. Lessened Stress - People who consistently praise God are less apt to complain about God’s training methods. When we praise God we will be more submissive, content and yielded to His will. When we are suffering from pain we find that praise alleviates our tendency to give in to feelings of bitterness, fear or anger. Praise has a way of releasing us from our sinful desire to take control back from the Lord. By praising God for His sovereignty we are saying, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) Praise alleviates our anxiety as we allow our hearts and minds to remain in Christ.

6. Lessened Weakness - Praising God gives us greater confidence in His ability to be greater than any problem. Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4) Praise gives us greater intimacy with the God who is greater than any person, problem or circumstance we may face.

7. Lessened Uncertainty - When we praise God we have a renewal of all His blessed assurances. Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3) Praise helps us be reminded of the unlimited resources we have in Christ.

8. Lessened Need to Understand - When we praise God we are less insistent on our right to know why certain things happen to us. We are less apt to react with anger, bitterness or worry when we turn all our perplexities over to the Lord. Paul wrote, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing ... always carrying about in the body of the dying Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Cor. 4:8-10) People who praise God do not feel the need to understand why adversity falls on the wicked and righteous alike. Let us praise God that He has the capacity to cause “all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

9. Lessened Need to Depend on Our Own Resources - We can praise God and experience less of a need to rely on ourselves, our resources and our people because we know the promise is true, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) When we are not feeling confident or self-assured we can praise God that He gives us the wherewithal to accomplish everything He asks of us. You will never lack anything if you praise God for His enabling ability to take you through every trial and make you better for it.

10. Lessened Need to Feel in Control - Praising God helps us gain greater confidence in God’s ability to take us through any dark valley. We do not have to pretend to be such a self-sufficient, rugged individual or stoic. We do not have to plague ourselves with questions like, “What did I do wrong?” Some things are beyond our ability to control. We do not always have to analyze all the reasons why things did not go perfectly. Sometimes we set ourselves up for disappointment when we fail to say like Job, “Even though He slay me yet will I praise Him.” Praising God recognizes that He is sovereign, loving and perfectly in control of all our circumstances. We do not have to judge our circumstances knowing that He is sovereign in every situation.

Let us follow the admonition of David who wrote, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boasts in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psa 34:1-4)

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderated. Please be respectful. Just because a comment does not appear does not mean the moderator has not responded directly.