SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name.” – Psalm 100:4 (NIV)
Appreciation and Thanks are cultivated traits. They are ingrained in us by the Spirit of God. You cannot excuse its absence by saying that you don’t have it. If you don’t, grow it. A lack of it is offensive to God and to man. If the Lord has brought you to this new year, praise Him. If He’s given you life to greet people ‘Happy new year’ ‘Compliments of the season’ and all the other things we say to others who meet at the beginning of the new year, then praise Him. Because God inhabits the praise of His people. David exclaimed “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:31). Throughout his life, he gave God praise. He said “I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude” (Psalm 109:30). As to timing, he said “every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.” (Psalm 145:2)
Sometimes it’s hard to find a reason to praise. Don’t wait till you find one, get to it and praise the Lord. Anyway! David said “let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. (Psalm 150:6). For as long as we are alive, because “It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to the place of silence” (Psalm 115:17), we should “Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to His name, for that is pleasant” – (Psalm 135:3).
Discard fear and worries. The annual rent might be due, the insurance companies’ bills for the year’s premium staring at you from the stack of papers on your table. It’s time again to pay the children’s school fees and you might need to have the doctor check that disturbing pain in your body that’s getting worse. However, now is the time to let go and let God. Even when tried, Peter reminds that “the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”. (1 Peter 1:7). So even then, thank the Lord and praise Him!
Remember how you were joyful on the eve of the New Year? Remain joyful. The bills might come, our health might fail, we might end up losing our job, but we have this glorious hope that it is not for nothing. And even if your ladder falls this year and throws you off the rung, you can land securely on the Rock of Ages, if you choose to place your ladder on Him now. Let this arm you and choose praise, even in the face of scary events of crashed economies and natural disasters, of personal failures, anxieties and fears. Choose thanks. Yesterday is gone, don’t allow today to weigh you down and you can look forward to tomorrow, firmly planted on the Rock of Ages. I choose to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. To be thankful unto Him and to bless His name, not just for my trying past or my challenging present, but for my glorious tomorrow as well. Knowing that He “is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Jude 1:24,25)
TO PONDER: In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “Praise is the rehearsal of our eternal song’. Why should you go through the rest of your life whining and complaining about things? Why not be different? Let the Lord give you a different set of eyes through which to see life’s situations for what they really are – temporary events that will surely pass away. Be thankful and choose praise.”