Saturday, March 28, 2009

Praise is Healthy

"Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.

The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength;
His understanding is infinite.

The Lord supports the afflicted;He brings down the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God on the lyre,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.

He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens which cry
The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness
~Psalm 147:1-11

It is good to praise the One who made all and provides for all. God is the one who gives the rain in Spring. He makes plants to grow for our food and for our healing and it is He who provides water to drink. God is the One who heals our broken hearts and He is the One who binds our wounds, both physical and emotional. Without Him there is no health, in fact there is no life.

When we have good health, our skin radiates, our eyes shine, we are "becoming," an old word for beautiful or nice to look at. Also, we feel good and our emotions are positive. Psalm 147 says that praise is pleasant and praise is becoming. It makes us happy and beautiful. Praise is, in fact, the least expensive beauty treatment you'll ever find!

Praise isn't just telling God how great He is, though that's part of it. When we tell Him, we remind ourselves, build up our own faith and become more thankful. But praise is also expressed in the way we live our lives. Obedience to God's loving laws shows our praise in action.

But we cannot praise unless we have the fear of God. Maybe that sounds weird, but think about it. The fear of God comes from an understanding of His character, His greatness, His authority. Praise is speaking these traits back to God and obeying Him because of them. If we have this understanding, we fear God and praise is the result. If we don't understand the fear of the Lord, we do not submit to Him in obedience and we do not speak His praises. We will not wait for God's decisions and His timing if we don't understand His lovingkindness.

God's favor is on those who fear him, the pslamist says, and on those who wait for His lovingkindness.

Ouch! Waiting is so hard. But it is only hard because I don't yet understand the lovingkindness of God.

"Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and
refreshment to your bones." Proverbs 3:7-8

So the fear of the Lord is healing and praise is becoming.

Dear Lord, reveal yourself to us that we may fear You, obey You and praise You all the days of our lives. Amen.

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