Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. (Ps. 100:4)
As I arrived home in an ice storm, my car kept sliding when I hit the brakes and crashed into our second vehicle. “Oh nuts!” I groaned, examining the damage. “Both cars! This is going to cost a fortune.”
My son heard the crash and came to investigate. He smiled and said, “Just praise the Lord, Dad!” He was repeating a line from my sermon, and now I needed to practice what I preached. It’s one thing to praise the Lord in a sermon. It’s quite another to praise him in a storm.
Chastened, I waved both hands in the air and said, “Well, praise the Lord, anyway!” We laughed, and somehow the whole situation seemed brighter.
I believe the adage, “Prayer changes things.” But here is a truth even greater than that: Praise changes things. Most of all, praise changes my perspective and attitude. I can’t whine, complain, or stay gloomy when I’m praising the Lord.
After reading books by Merlin Carothers, my friend Judy started thanking God for everything. I tried to correct her theology, telling her that not all happenings are heaven-sent, but she just kept praising anyway. On further reflection, I realized Judy’s approach didn’t hurt her a bit, and certainly made her pleasant to be around. I know a few folks who could use a good dose of that.
Just praise the Lord anyway.
Mark O. Wilson is assistant professor of discipleship, multiplication, and renewal at Southern Wesleyan University (SC) and author of “Filled Up, Poured Out.” Mark and his wife, Cathy, have five children.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.