Friends, greetings in Jesus Name! Today I will be sharing with you on what I title, “The Act of Praise and Thanksgiving.” It is so easy to glue our minds to what God hasn’t done for us rather than what He has done, and still doing. Listen, the air that we breathe is enough to praise and give thanks to God. If you doubt, visit the nearest hospital and see how much some people pay daily for the oxygen they need to survive another day. This past weekend, I traveled to my hometown in Delta, and I knew how many accidents that occurred on the way with so many precious lives lost in the incident. Even on the very convoy that I was involved in, there was a nasty accident but I escaped. Are we better than those who lose their lives every day? Of course not! It’s just by God’s grace that we are not consumed. Therefore, it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
You see, our relationship with God is reciprocal. One major thing that keeps our relationship with God going is the act of “Praise and Thanksgiving”. Our praises to God attracts His presence in our lives. The bible declares that, “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3). This is one secret that King David understood early in life. You will hear him say, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1). It doesn’t matter what you are going through right now. In fact, your case cannot be worse than that of Paul and Silas who were bound in chains, and left for dead in the prison. But the bible declares that, “At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. You know what? God showed up, their chains were broken, and they got released (Acts 16:25-26). Their faith-filled praises drew God’s attention.
Really, I have come to realize that if the devil can shut your mouth from praising God, then he has conquered you. You have to learn how to shout for joy in the midst of problems. Yes! The bible says you should make a joyful noise (Psalm 98:4). When? At all times…whether in good or bad times. When you lack joy in your life, you wither (Joel 1:12). “For the joy of the lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Satan knows it so well. That’s why he gets so mad when he sees you praising God in the midst of trails. He wants you to carry a long face – frustration, despair, joyless, and depression. Why? Each time you carry long face, it shows how long you will remain in your situation. One of my mentors, Lester Sumrall, said there was a time things were so tough for their family. To eat was a huge challenge for them. But his mother who was rugged in faith, knew how to pray and praise God.
He said his mum will call for a family dinner, set an empty plate before everyone with glasses of water – and then say – let us pray. Lester said before they would finish praying, a neighbor or family friend will knock at their door and say: The Lord asked me to get these food stuffs to you people. What is the essence of this story? It means when you maintain an attitude of praise in the midst of trouble and trials life, God will always show up for you. Remember, “Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). Have a Praiseful Week. With love, Elvis!