Praise is Recognizing Who God is
When we recognize who God is, we remember who we are.
If God is King and I am His child, that makes me a prince or princess.
I am endowed with dignity (worthiness of respect) from on high.
I have access to the, "unfathomable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8).
If I do not praise, I do not remember who God is.
When I forget who God is, I forget who I am.
In my mind, God becomes an angry master who simply points out my faults.
I think I am just a bad person and God is mean.
In my heart, God becomes someone who doesn't really care about me.
I think I have to deal with life on my own and become overwhelmed.
Without praise as a regular part of my life, I forget who God is and I forget who I am.
Forgetting Who God is, and Who I am, is NO BUENO
Many people in our culture have forgotten both and thus we have been led to:
Now, this might seem pretty extreme, nearing morbid.
To be completely honest, I'm sick of ignoring it.
To be utterly frank, I'm not 100% sure what the answer is to it all.
I do believe, though, that God is the only answer.
And I'm not trying to over-spiritualize the matter.
God works to heal and restore in physical ways.
He Himself was incarnated as a man and lived a human life.
He works in a mixture of human and divine ways.
Still, we must turn to Him.
And I believe the first move is praise.
I realize that the issues of our culture highlighted above are very complicated.
Some may argue that there are plenty of non-God-praising individuals not dealing with those issues.
I get it. We can discuss it more. This is not meant to be a final say on the topic.
I just hope you'll reflect with me on the power of praise to change one person at a time and therefore the culture.
Why Do We Praise?
We don't praise because it feels good; though we might get some satisfaction from it.
We don't praise because we can see all of the good things God is doing; though we can and should thank God for His good works in our life.
We don't even praise because it reminds us of our dignity as a child of God; though praise does remind us of this.
We praise God because He is worthy. Period.
This can be proven simply on an intellectual level, though probably just as easily backed up scripturally.
Intellectualy, if God is the creator of all things, we exist only because He made us to exist.
We only continue to exist, because He allows us to continue to exist.
He provides us with what we need to continue to exist.
Now this is pretty basic, existence.
And surely we know, and have come to believe in our hearts, that God wants more than existence for us.
He wants blessing and goodness and true happiness, a hundred fold: "now in this time... and in the age to come eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30).
Yet, if the only way we begin to exist and continue to exist, is because of God, then....
"It is truly RIGHT AND JUST, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.........
.......And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim" (Order of the Mass, emphasis added).
Then, right after we silently follow this prayer being spoken by the words of the Priest at Mass (or one very similar to it), we all sing together: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD OF HOSTS..."
We praise. We tell God who He is. Holy. That is, set apart. There is none like Him. Blessed is He...
He is worthy because without Him we would not exist.
My earthly parents, no matter their defects, are worthy of some kind of thanks and praise.
I would not exist without them.
How much more our perfect, good, loving, humble, powerful, awe-inspiring, wise, just, and amazing God!
How Do We Praise?
And so we must praise.
It's as simple as this.
God, you are _______________.
God, you are good.
God, you are wise.
I feel not good... but God, you are good, and I am your child, so I am worthy of respect and love and kindness.
I feel so dumb... but God, you are the wisest of them all, and I am your child, so I can't be as dumb as I feel because you let me share in Your wisdom.
Who do you need God to be for you right now? Praise Him for being that. Maybe it'll be in a poetic song like David. Maybe it'll be a few simple spoken words. Maybe it'll be a litany of all the things He is.
Just remember, we don't praise Him because we experience some amazing change in our hearts right away or because it feels good... we praise God because HE IS WORTHY.
I invite your comments, especially regarding praise as the answer to heal our culture of rising suicide rates, depression rates, and the Opioid Crisis. I don't claim to have all the answers nor the ability to yet explain that praise is the answer. I just know that God is the answer, so it seems logical. What do you think?