O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Praise the Lord
William Law, in his Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, wrote, "Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives the most alms, or is best known for temperance, chastity, or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God for it."
Isaiah certainly fits Law's definition of a great saint. Even though this Old Testament prophet lived in a time of tremendous political upheaval, he never lost his sense of awe at God's greatness. He could see God at work doing "wonderful things." And despite the danger and peril that surrounded him, Isaiah was always ready to sing God's praises. He continually rejoiced in the knowledge that God's counsel is faithful and true.
Christians today live in a high-stress world as well. In some countries their physical lives are in danger. Kent Hill, executive director of The Institute on Religion and Democracy, said, "There have been more martyrs produced in the 20th century than in all the other centuries combined since the time of Christ." In the Western world the stress is more likely to come from rapid changes in technology and society. Yet these struggles produce anxieties and apprehension that are real as well.
What's the solution? Give yourself to praise. Whatever your situation, the all-powerful, all-knowing God of the universe is worthy to be exalted and glorified. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, once said, "Something happens to the man who praises God; his life is blessed and enriched and he is strengthened." Let that be true of your life as well. Determine to take some quality time today just to praise the Lord. See if your day doesn't go better.
Faith runs best when oiled with praise.