Read Psalm 100
1 Shout with joy to the Lord,all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him,singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us,and we are his.
We are his people,the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (NLT)
It is one of the characteristics of the Psalms that the writer seems to be in constant trouble and yet repeatedly burst into praise of God. This tells us something of the nature of praise. We don’t praise God simply because everything in our life is just as we wish it to be. We praise God because he is praiseworthy. We don’t necessarily praise God because life is good,we praise him because he is good.
Praise is not denial of difficulty: the psalmist writes of both lament and praise. Rather praise looks beyond the immediate difficulty to the overarching reality of the goodness of God. Praise is earthed in who God is,not in our circumstances or our feelings. So we can praise God even when we don’t feel like praising him.
In this way,praise can help us better face circumstances: it puts things in a better,truer perspective. With one caution: we don’t use praise as the means by which we may feel better. Praise may indeed improve our feelings,but this is not why we praise God.
And one other caution: our praise not only involves our lips but our lives.