Summary: No matter what life throws at us there is always reason to praise God!
Reason to Praise
February 16, 2003
Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began his prayers with an expression of gratitude. One cold, miserable day his people wondered what he would say. He prayed, "We thank Thee, O Lord, that it is not always like this."
It is said that in Africa there is a fruit called the "taste berry", because it changes a person’s taste so that everything eaten tastes sweet and pleasant. Sour fruit, even if eaten several hours after the "taste berry," becomes sweet and delicious. Gratitude is the "taste berry" of Christianity, and when our hearts are filled with gratitude, nothing that God sends us seems unpleasant to us. Keep the "taste berry" of gratitude in your hearts, and it will do for you what the "taste berry" of Africa does for the African.
We become overwhelmed by life
The fact is that life will control us if we allow it to. Life tends to move like a river and we far too often just go with the flow. We allow the situations and circumstances of life to control us. When we allow this to happen we lose much more than stability or security in life; we lose a part of ourselves.
Life can get overwhelming
There is not a person in this sanctuary that has not seen some type of difficulty in life. The problem becomes when we become so focused on our problems that we lose focus on our creator. We are all guilty of allowing our feelings of hurt, disappointment, fear, frustration or even anger to drive us through life. There are many who feel like they have been cheated by life, dealt a bad hand or blame God for their problems. When we flow into this mode of living we begin to think that there is nothing to be thankful for.
Key Question: Does your life praise God?
I. God’s glorious deeds
A. Preface of praise (1-2)
1. Total praise for God: The phrase “O my soul” means to praise God with your entire being. It means that every aspect of your life is focused on giving praise to God and nothing is held back.
2. Reminder for praise: The psalmist is calling us to focus on the fact of God’s mighty deeds as reason enough to praise God. No matter what our circumstances might be or what difficulties we might face that there is always a reason to give praise to God.
B. Benefits that God bestows (3-6)
1. Forgiveness of sin: God gives us proof of both His love and His mercy by His offering forgiveness to us. It is the forgiveness of God that allows us to have a relationship with Him. The mercy and grace of God is a free gift because He offers it with no expectations and no conditions. God’s grace can never be earned by anything we can do. If we could earn God’s grace it wouldn’t be a gift and it wouldn’t be grace.
2. Healing of diseases: God’s power is available for His people and one of the many ways that God shows His power is through divine healing. Is it so hard to believe that he who created us would not also be able to heal us as well?
3. Redemption from death: We all deserve to go to Hell, we deserve the pit of spiritual isolation from God but God’s desire is that none should perish. One definition of grace is being given what we need and not what we deserve. God wants every person to find redemption in Him.
4. Crowning with love and compassion: God extends to every believer His love and compassion because it is the fuel of His divine mercy. As a Christian we are to be filled with God’s divine love and compassion for others. We are meant to live out our lives as an example of God’s love.
5. Satisfaction of our desires: God has promised to supply our every need and He more than abundantly delivers. He supplies us richly out of His resources and provided us with good things. The fact is that God’s provision is powerful and all sufficient.
6. Awards of righteousness and justice: God gives us the ability to be righteous, to be made completely right in His sight. This is clearly something that we cannot do on our own. God also gives us real justice. This life is simply not fair and things may be unjust in our lives but God will measure out His justice in the end.
II. God’s glorious love
A. God has revealed His merciful love (7-10)
1. God has given His Law: God’s Law was never meant to legalize life but rather to give us direction I how we are meant to live our lives. God’s Law was meant to guide us in everyday decisions and to allow us to know His will for our lives.