Why Should I Praise God?

I think too often when Christians talk about praising God, there’s a group of people who say, why should I? What’s He done for me? Sadly, that group includes other Christians along with a lot of people who kinda think there’s a god, but they sure don’t know him.

But more and more, it seems, God is showing me believers who are genuinely hurting—my friend Brandon who died of cancer, leaving his three young children and wonderful wife behind; a former student who had fertility issues, lost her brother in a car accident, and is now in the hospital with her own cancer issues; one of my pastors who’s son-in-law just died, leaving his daughter a widow; and today my blogging friend Insanitybytes. There are others, too, some well-known, others obscure and quiet in their hurting—but these believers clung with their last breath or the breath they have in them now, to the goodness of God.

Sure, there are the why-is-god-so-disappointing crowd. There have been books written about that subject, so it’s not like the praise people stand alone, triumphant, in the ring of suffering.

So what’s the difference? I think it’s knowing God.

Some of us know God in a casual way, sort of like an acquaintance or a good boss we rarely see. We know he’s there because we keep getting paychecks, but it’s hard to think that he had any more to do with those than signing his name, and if we have our wages automatically deposited, we might just have money showing up in our account, with no tangible evidence the boss is involved. That’s how a lot of people treat God.

Others—and chances are, these are members of the disappointment crowd—relate to God as a kindly, generous grandfather who is so, so willing to give us whatever we want. Consequently, when we ask him for something, especially the really serious stuff, and he says no, we are so shocked, so disappointed, so thrown off the solid rock of faith we thought was firmly under our feet, that we can’t begin to muster any praise.

Praise for what? My husband just lost his job. Praise for what? The rent just went up, again, along with the gas prices and the groceries. Praise for what? My best friend just moved.

Of course some even say, Praise for what? I don’t have a thing to wear to the office bash this week.

Yes, some of the issues are our perspective, but a lot are real issues.

For a long time I was very critical of the newly freed Hebrew slaves as they traveled across the wilderness toward the Promised Land. I mean, they were always complaining, and this, right after God had shown His power in so many miraculous ways. Couldn’t they trust Him for a few short months at least?

Well, the truth was, their concerns were real. First, they really did not have any water. Not for them, their children, their cows, their sheep. And they were in a near desert. I’m pretty sure I’d have been in the crowd of complainers.

Then there was no food; and later, the same food; danger; and real giants in the land where they were supposed to go in and reside. Giants they were supposed to conquer. This was, of course, much earlier than David, so they didn’t know the story about this youth, not really an adult yet, facing down a God-cursing giant and demolishing him.

I’m not sure my criticism of these complaining Hebrews is really founded. Except. They had told God, on more than one occasion, that there would obey Him and worship Him alone and follow Moses, the leader God had given them. They went back on those things. When they were faced with stuff they couldn’t see around, when there was something they didn’t understand (why does Moses get to be the leader all the time? Shouldn’t someone else get a turn?)

In other words, they really did not trust God. And how does praise fit in with all this?

First, praise is an offering to God. It’s the sacrifice of our lips. Second, it’s really, really, really hard impossible to praise God without thinking about why He is praiseworthy.

For Christians, the bottom line ought to be, I know God is faithful and loving and true, because He sent His Son to die for me. So, He didn’t save my friend from cancer, but He is still good. So I lost my job. He is still faithful. So I don’t see how I can make all the payments that will come due this month, He’s still loving.

Our circumstances don’t change who God is.

The problem is, our circumstances are blinding us to God’s character, because we’re looking at them instead of Him. Like Peter when he was actually walking to Jesus on the water, but got distracted by the wind and the waves.

Praise adjusts our sights. Instead of looking down or around or in, we are again looking up, and we can see God the way He deserves to be seen, the way He actually is.

Like so many things with God, praise is a win-win. We can offer Him something when we feel like we have nothing to give, but He turns it around and makes our giving of it, a blessing to us. That’s God for you.

Published in: on October 25, 2019 at 5:28 pm  Comments (6)  
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  1. Good post, Becky. Thanks for the link. My heart is really breaking for Tony Mac who just lost his 21 yr old son. That kind of grief just leaves you broken and confused. There just aren’t any answers, not this side of heaven anyway. All we can do is remember God is sovereign and God is good.

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    • So sorry to hear about Toby Mac’s son, that breaks my heart too💔 Thank you for mentioning it🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

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  2. 💕I think you hit the nail on the head, the difference is Knowing God. When we seek out God, we begin to realize His goodness even in tragedy. God gave us His Word, but are we listening to what He has to say? Every good relationship we have in life comes through getting to know each other. God knows us more intimately than any person ever could, even better than we know ourselves, but have we taken the time to Know Him? Really know Him? When we face difficult circumstances in life, if we draw closer to God through them, we are able to rise above and go through with joy, even though we are hurting. This is something that’s hard to explain unless you’ve had the opportunity to go through something with God by your side. It is truly possible to go though and experience joy when we know God personally. It is possible to grieve and have joy at the same time. God is good, everything He does is good, and for everything He has a purpose. We may never know the purpose, but many times later on we see His good work through tragedy. Thank you for writing this. Struggles are real, but God is great and greatly to be praised! Praying for you, and those families now.🙏🏼May God richly bless you 🙌🏼✝️🙌🏼

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    • Thank you for enriching the discussion, Malinda. This is so true. What a great reality.


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  3. This is such a good post Becky, I had to read through it again and when I did to my surprise, it must not have all loaded the first time. Your words are words of great Truth. Thanks again for this thought provoking post! God bless😊

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  4. A big part of the problem is our perspective. We are naturally focused on what we see, but when you think about it, this life, compared with eternity, is like a grain of sand compared to the Sahara Desert – smaller, actually. I have told my loved ones that if I ever have a terminal disease, I want a big jar of sand on my nightstand to remind me that after this life, there is SO much more.)

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