THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2011 "They praised [God]...because the foundation...was laid." Ezr 3:11 NKJV We read, "When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord's Temple...all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord" (vv. 10-11 NLT). Why praise God in the early stages of something? (1) Because praise is an act of faith. It says, "Lord, what You start, You finish. Thank You for giving me Your plan because Your plan always prevails. Some folks think I won't succeed, but with You on my side I'll succeed anyway. I'm not doing this for myself; I'm doing it for You and with You." (2) Because praise strengthens you. Nehemiah told his workers, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh 8:10). If you lose your joy you lose your strength. If you lose your strength you lose your power to overcome the enemy. If you lose your power to overcome the enemy, you're defeated. But if you praise God even when all you have in front of you is a small beginning, His joy will energize you and you'll find it easier to complete the task. If you only praise God when things are easy or going right, you won't praise much, you won't have joy and you won't have strength. (3) Because praise changes your environment. Imagine wheelbarrows, cement mixers, a partially-built wall, and in the midst of it people shouting the praises of God. That's what happens when you put on a praise CD or tune in to a Christian station; your problems don't necessarily change, but your outlook does. Simply stated, when you praise God in the early stages, you work better and the job gets done!
Published on Thursday, February 24, 2011 @ 6:31 AM CDT