I remember visiting with my grandmother late in her years when she wanted to share Psalm 100 with me. This was one of the passages of Scripture she had memorized. But she drew a blank and couldn’t remember the words. She was frustrated with herself. But once she got the first few words of this chapter, she was then able to finish reciting it all.
I don’t know for sure what translation my grandmother had memorized, but I will share NIV with you:
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
I was recently reading this Psalm and thinking about this incident with my grandmother. But something struck me. It occurred to me that this is a tune our hearts know well. Even if we forget the words, as my grandmother did, our hearts never forget this rhythm. Once we truly have the Lord in our hearts, praising Him is something each of our souls long to do.
It says in Isaiah 43:21, “This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.” (NKJV)
We were made for worship. Sadly many of us turn in other directions and worship other things. As a result, we never find true satisfaction and joy. But when we worship God wholeheartedly, then we find our rightful place. That is one of the reasons why singing praise songs feels so good.
Another reason why praising God feels so good is because He is there in the midst of the praise. Perhaps you have heard it said that God inhabits the praise of His people. And in Psalm 22:3 it says, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (KJV) How amazing to know that anytime we praise God, He is there! What comfort and peace that brings.
So let us keep God in His rightful place in our lives. Let us prayerfully lay aside anything that we put ahead of Him. Let us remember to cling to the Lord and to sing God’s praises daily. Let us thank God for His goodness and character.
And as the writer of Hebrews said, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” (Heb 13:15 NIV)
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas