Praise the Lord

The triumphant nations went wild with joy at the defeat of Germany. The noise of drums, horns, and other things was deafening. The sights were indescribable. It was V Day.

Psalm 33 sends out a clarion call to go wild with joy, the joy of the Lord. “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise” (Psalm 33:1-3).

“Rejoice,” “Praise,” “Sing.” This is right and good! In fact, there are many good reasons presented by the psalmist for doing such things: (1) “The word of the LORD is right” (vs. 4a); (2) “All his works are done in truth” (vs. 4b); (3) “The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD” (vs. 5b); (4) “The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever” (vs. 11a); (5) “The eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him” (vs. 18a); (6) “He is our help and our shield” (vs. 20b).

John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t even have a bed. Yet he was an unusually happy person who was filled with gratitude to God.

Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. “And what else do you thank God for?” he said with a touch of sarcasm. The porter smiled, and in the spirit of meekness replied with joy, “I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Deeply moved, Wesley recognized that this man knew the meaning of true thankfulness.

Many years later, in 1791, John Wesley lay on his deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him realized how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance. Despite Wesley’s extreme weakness, he began singing the hymn, “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”

D.L. Moody once said, “There is a great deal more said in the Bible about praise than prayer; yet how few praise meetings there are!”

For what do you praise the Lord?