Before going any further with this teaching regarding praising God, it’s imperative that we try to settle a clear distinction between praise and worship, even though there’s strong bond between both of them. While they are similar to each other in several ways; however, they are not exactly the same thing in essence.
We are to worship God Almighty because of who He is in connection to our relationship with Him through Christ. In other words, worship is about acknowledging the fullness of whom God is. In His very nature we find His infinite power, greatness, kindness, sovereignty, dominion, holiness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, providence, majesty, love, mercy, grace, faithfulness, justice, compassion, along with any other attributes that constitute His very being.
Worshipping God is all about taking ourselves out of the picture through complete humility, contrition, and reverence to Him, so that He can become whom He wants to be in our lives. We have to go low, and He has to go high during our worship by prostrating our heart to Him in awe of His splendor and majesty. We have to be deliberate when worshipping God in order for us to be able to ascribe to Him the glory due only to His Name (Psalm 29:2; 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 96:8).
Worshipping Him is a lifelong endeavor which begins with offering ourselves totally to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:1). Our worship revolves around dying to self since it is all about Him not us, so that He can dwell through us and use us mightily for His own glory. In short, our worship is centered upon allowing God to be glorified through us, which is the culmination of the main purpose He created us for (Isaiah 43:7).
We are to praise God for what He has done for us. To put it clearly, praising God is about giving Him thanks for His loving kindness, faithfulness, and provision in accordance with what He has done for us. Is that all? Well, our praise should not be limited only to what He has already done on behalf of us since He’s not a God of the past, so we are to praise Him for what He has in store for us as well.
We have to nurture a spirit of gratitude and appreciation toward God in order for us to be able to praise Him acceptably. Having said that, our praise must be centered upon our gratitude toward Him. Praise that isn’t based on genuine gratitude toward God isn’t praise at all.
Praise God in Every Circumstance
It’s interesting that God doesn’t want us to restrict our praise to Him only when things are going well for us because the Bible says in (1 Thessalonians 5:18) that we are to praise Him in every circumstance, which includes when things have taken an unanticipated turn for the worse. (Brothers and sisters, you can fit your current situation here…)
The thing is that praising Him in every circumstance is the greatest demonstration of our faith in Him. Praising Him that way allows us to focus more on God instead of our current circumstances that are trying to control our way of thinking and ultimately influencing how we respond to any of them. By doing so, He gets to occupy a much bigger and greater place in our minds, hearts, and lives.
When you have developed an attitude of praising God in such fashion, He gets bigger and bigger in your life and your current situation gets smaller and smaller. He is well-pleased by that because you don’t allow the issues of life to get a hold of you. In other words, you don’t allow life’s circumstances to determine your praise to Him while you are serving a God who is infinitely greater than your current problems.
On the other hand, when we are complaining or living our lives like people who have no hope, no memory of His faithfulness and providence to us, or like people who have no one to look up to, the issues of life will get bigger and bigger since the focus is no longer on God. The bottom line is you cannot settle your mind on something that will instigate anxiety, worry, doubt, panic, confusion, and insecurity and expect the peace of God to come over you.
It’s not easy to praise God in every circumstance due to the fact that reality has a significant impact on us. Nevertheless, it’s even worse when we allow our life’s issues to get a firm grip on us. So that’s what at stake here. Here’s the Word of comfort God has offered us in (Philippians 4:6-7):
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Let’s praise Him in every situation by focusing on Him irrespective of how desperate the circumstances may be because doing the opposite doesn’t honor whom God is. And griping won’t change the circumstances as well. The truth is that griping about your circumstances is equivalent to praising your problems instead of praising God.