Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Sarah Mae’s new study, Psalm 40: Crying Out to the God Who Delights to Rescue Us. This excerpt was originally shared in April on LifeWay.com. Order your copy or see a free sample today at LifeWay.com/Psalm40. We’ve also included some fun, free downloads at the end of this post to celebrate this new study!
Praise isn’t just something relegated to worship services; in fact, it’s associated with our everyday lives. In our daily busyness of going to work, loving our families, and walking through the checkout line, we can praise God; we can highlight His greatness and worth. When we praise God, we’re giving glory to Him. His light within us shines back to Him. It’s as if we’re saying, Look! Look at God, at who God is and what He does!
WE PRAISE THE LORD BECAUSE HE IS GREAT.
We praise God because He deserves it, and He tells us to praise Him. Because God is so different from us—so fully incomprehensible—His mystery can be frustrating and scary sometimes, especially in seasons of hardship and pain. But, ultimately the fact that God is higher than us, that we can’t wrap our minds around the entirety of who He is, is a good thing! We wouldn’t want to worship a God who we could completely understand. If we could fully understand Him, then we’d be on His same level and He wouldn’t be God.
As God reveals different aspects of His character to us and as we come to understand more and more of what He has done for us as His children, we will discover reason after reason to praise Him. I love to think of God that way. There are always more beautiful aspects of His character and love for us to discover. We’ll never come to the end of who He is. And, when He shows us more of who He is through His Word and prayer, we respond to that revelation with praise and gratitude.
WE PRAISE GOD BECAUSE IT HELPS US.
God made us. He knows how we were created to flourish and thrive. He commands us to praise Him because He knows the best thing for us is to prize Him as the joy and delight of our hearts. When our relationship with God is prioritized first and we’re placing the full weight of not only our eternal security but our emotional and spiritual security here and now on God, we typically give the people in our lives more freedom. And that leads to healthier and more loving relationships and more internal security.
Praising God also helps us because it reminds us of the truth of His Word, and gives us a way to turn His gospel truths over and over in our hearts and minds.
Think back to the “but” we discussed in Psalm 13 and how that contrasting word signifies a shift in the psalmist’s language and his heart and mind. Over and over again in the psalms, we see men grappling with devastating loss, pain, and fear, only to turn the corner with “but.” Then we see God’s Word walk them back from the edge of despair. Praising God helps anchor us in the truths of His character and His steadfast love for us. It reminds us that He holds onto us during the good and the bad days. Praising God stirs our hearts up to joy so we can walk in hope-filled assurance of who God is. It’s a reminder that God isn’t done with us yet. Though things may look grim now, His truth and Word will hold us until eternity. God has good plans for us still.
WE PRAISE GOD TO MAKE MUCH OF HIM TO OTHERS.
We praise God and shine a light on Him, giving Him glory so that others will see how great He is. We tell of His goodness to other believers to encourage them, to strengthen their hope and faith in Him. We tell of His goodness to those who do not yet know God, so that they can see how all-satisfying a relationship with Him is, so that they will want to know Him too.
Want to learn more about this new study? Watch the short video below or view a free sample and teaching video clips at LifeWay.com/Psalm40.
And here are some fun wallpapers for your computer and phone! Click the images or links below to download!