In His Hand

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care (Psalms 95:1-7a).

It is in the eye of the optimist that the glass is half full; and in the eye of the grateful that worldly poverty can be seen as a doorway to the riches of heaven. For many of us it may be much easier to see all that we do not have. Rather than thinking about what we have already, we turn our eyes to the next fleeting and often empty satisfying thing. But we know that if we can remove our eyes from what is not, and put them on what is, then we find that we have much to be thankful for and we see that all good things have been given to us by God.

“I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (Psalms 69:30).

It is in the eyes of the grateful that selfish wants begin to fade; while personal needs are clarified along with the assurance that they will be met. For we know that God is faithful and that He “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It is in His faithfulness that we rest--truly rest--knowing that “all things work together for the good.”

With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid” (Ezra 3:11).

Sometimes it is easy to praise God with all of our heart--and sometimes it is not so easy. Sometimes it is one of the hardest things to do. It seems that we cannot find the strength we need to get our eyes off of our cares; while we may even feel as though we are breaking beneath our circumstances. But if we can grasp the power of praise in the face of adversity, perhaps we can then find the courage to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb.12:2).

Praise and Thanksgiving have incredible effects upon the life of the believer. They draw us closer to God. They help us to see our situation in the proper perspective. They enable us to fix our eyes on the one Who has the answers, Who can comfort us, and Who cares for us. Jesus said that “the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Mt.13:22). But throughout the scriptures another truth is echoed for our encouragement as well: that praise is the instrument whereby we can rise above the care of this world, draw near to God, and find His peace once again.

To avoid worry: Our praises to God should exceed the pressures in our lives.

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