Thursday, March 30

Praising with a Joyful Heart

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. --Psalm 150:1, 6

A decent singing voice is not one of the gifts that God has given me. My friend Kate, however, has a beautifully clear soprano voice. My mother-in-law also has wonderful vocal abilities. I used to feel lackluster around people whose gifts far surpassed my own in such a way. This was especially true when those people were using their gifts at church.

I used to think that making a joyful noise meant praising God in a way that made other people stop and take notice. I equated praising God--as is described throughout Psalm 150--with musical gifts and vocal talent. This was certainly not the proper attitude with which to praise my heavenly Father! How could I possibly make a joyful noise when I was preoccupied with my joyless thoughts? The fact that I was dissatisfied with the gifts God has given me severely impeded my ability to worship wholeheartedly. I had taken my focus off of Him and centered it on myself instead.

When we offer up a joyful noise to God, we are praising Him. Praising Him should be one of our main goals on this earth. God blesses us with the talents of His choosing. He is the giver of all good things. For this alone He is to be praised.

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Determining whether our gifts are adequate for praising God is not up to us. To honor and glorify Him, we need to use the gifts He has given us, and we need to use them joyfully. When we worship and adore Him in this way, we may influence others to praise Him as well.

It doesn't matter if I can't harmonize as well as my grandpa or my mother-in-law. God doesn't care that I can't improvise on the piano like my husband can. God doesn't feel let down because I haven't recorded a CD like Kate did. What He cares about is my attitude. God wants and deserves praise from me for who He is. This means taking the focus off of myself and looking heavenward.

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