Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendour and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy, they will sing before the Lord, for he comes, to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.
Today, the world has been singing. Today, the Lord woke me to a glad heart and a thankful spirit, as I looked out on spring and the miracle of renewal after winter. Today, the Lord put a song into my heart, a song of thankfulness for all the many gifts which I have received, and all the ways in which He makes my life sweet. Today, I joined the chorus of creation, from the great striding bass notes of mountain and ocean, up to the top line melody of birdsong and delicate flowers. Today, I sang too.
Friends, it is not always easy to lift our eyes beyond our troubles, and those of others, in order to be reminded of the truth about our God as He reveals himself in creation – in its complexity, beauty and power. But when we are able, it is surely one of the most refreshing and encouraging experiences. To celebrate our Creator and delight in his creation is to do what we are made to do. To choose to praise him in spite of the very real trials and troubles of our lives and our world, is to glorify and honour the only one who can rightly address those troubles, and perfectly work all things together to fulfill his plans.
To praise God is to defy the devil. To praise God is to proclaim his greatness to a world which doesn’t want to know him. To praise God is to affirm the faith which He has given us in His character and promises, and to offer an acceptable sacrifice to the Almighty. To praise God in the midst of our messy and broken human lives is to shout aloud that we believe the best is yet to come, and that through our Saviour, Jesus, we will be alive to see it – more alive than we have ever been!
Let us then pray for one another, to be granted the strength and vision to praise our God, no matter what else is happening to us. Praise restores our perspective; praise puts our focus on God – who alone can aid and does sustain us. Praise enables us to affirm with Paul these wonderful truths:-
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.