Whatever we focus on tends to dominate our thoughts, and our thoughts determine our emotions. Is it any wonder then that our misery grows when we obsess over the issue or difficulty? And yet, when we choose to praise … Today my sweet friend, photographer, and gifted devotional writer, Susan Aken shares some thoughts on how we can choose to praise God, no matter our circumstances, and why we must.
(The post below first published on March 9, 2017.)
Choose to Praise by Susan Aken
“My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your faithfulness reaches to the clouds” (Psalm 108:1-4 ESV).
God called King David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). There are many reasons God said this about David but Psalm 108 shows us one clear reason. David was fixed on praising God. He was fixed on praising God not because things always went his way. Not because he never suffered. Not because he was perfect. It was a choice he made. He told God, “My heart is steadfast!” To be steadfast is to be firm, stable, established, fixed. He was set on praising God and nothing would sway him from that. He said:
I WILL sing and make melody with all my being!
I WILL awake the dawn!
I WILL give thanks to You, O LORD!
I WILL sing praises to You among the nations.
David determined to sing for God with all his being. He chose to start his day praising God. He made the choice to give thanks to Him. He was set on praising God in his heart and also chose to praise Him among the nations.
Why? Why would he praise Him in spite of trouble and oppression? Why would he praise Him in spite of his own weaknesses? Why would he praise Him in the midst of daily struggles?
“For Your steadfast love is great above the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!” (Psalm 108:4-5)
Why would he praise Him? Because God’s love is great above the heavens! His love never fails. His love is everlasting! Because His faithfulness goes on forever!
He deserves all praise and all glory! His love and faithfulness will never fail us.
Like David, I can choose to praise Him. I can say with David:
I will sing and make melody with all my heart!
I will wake up in the morning praising Him!
I will give thanks to you, O LORD!
I will sing your praises to those around me.
It’s a choice I can make. I can praise Him in spite of circumstances because He never changes. His character is firm in spite of my problems and struggles. I can praise Him because His love for me never fails. He will never love me any less. I can make the choice to sing and make music in my heart. I can thank Him everyday for all He does for me. I can also choose to praise His name to those around me. I can tell them how great He is.
God’s love for me is steadfast. It will never change. His faithfulness goes on forever. He is worthy of all my praise.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD! I will sing your praises to others. Praise your Holy Name!
This is a choice we can make every day! It’s a gift we give to our Lord.
Let’s talk about this! Choosing to praise isn’t always easy, but man, is it important. It draws our hearts closer to Christ and helps us appreciate all the abundant blessings He’s provided. When life is going well, it’s easy to praise. But when life is hard, what can we do to really fix our thoughts on Christ and praising Him, remaining steadfast in our praise? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other.
Get to Know Susan
Susan Aken is a homemaker, substitute teacher and writer. She lives in Nebraska but was born and raised in Oklahoma. Her greatest love is for the Lord Jesus Christ who has redeemed her and set her free. Her other loves are her husband and son (she is now an empty nester). Susan enjoys reading, photography, spending time with family and friends and writing. She has a heart for prayer ministry and loves her church! Visit her online at Soaring With Butterfly Wings and check out her inspiring photos at SusanAkenInspiringPhotos
And be sure to check out her wonderful devotional!
Amazing Hope: Reflections on Hope in the Midst of a Crazy World:
This is a 40-day devotional book on the topic of hope. Each day’s devotion includes verses from the Bible, inspirational thoughts by the author, reflection questions and a prayer. The topics include many of the struggles common to us all such as parenting, death, fear, sin, and the futility of daily life. There are also devotions on the character of God, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the power of God’s word and other topics. These writings express the hope that gets me through each day and I pray they will also help you.
You might also enjoy:
Big Me, Little God Syndrome by Jennifer Henn
When There Are No Answers by Tara Johnson
As I’m linking to all these great posts, I’m reminded that I haven’t shared some of my devotions, written for Wholly Loved Ministries, with you. Sorry! For those of you who would like to check them out:
The Freedom of Living Wholly Loved
And on Crosswalk:
Five Ways to Destroy Your Marriage
How to Develop the Mind of Christ
Also, if you’re in the Omaha/Bellevue/Papillion area, I’d love to see you Saturday! Stop in at Divine Truth Christian bookstore and grab an autographed copy of my latest release, Restoring Love! Reviewers are calling this my best novel yet, and I’ve been told it’d make a great witnessing tool. Plus, it’s set in Omaha, which is crazy fun!