A hamburger and french fries. A weekend and ideal weather. Each one is pleasing on its own, but they are better when paired together. Yesterday we talked about giving thanks; today we’ll discuss the second topic of this month’s study: praise.
Giving thanks is an act of gratitude and appreciation. A person expresses thanks because of the things someone else has done. Praise is an expression of admiration and delight. Typically, worship follows praise because praising God gives us extreme joy and deep satisfaction. When we combine thanks and praise, we glorify God and help others see His glory in worship.
The blind beggar in today’s text had a transformative encounter with Jesus that changed his life forever. All he wanted in life was to see. If you have a problem with eyesight, you know how difficult and discouraging it can be. Just imagine what it would have been like for this blind man in the first century. No wonder he cried out to Jesus to heal him and take away his burden (v. 38).
When Jesus heard the cry, He spoke and immediately healed the blind man (vv. 42–43). Undoubtedly, this man was thankful, but the text explicitly says that he started following Jesus and praising God (v. 43). His thankfulness for what Jesus had done was accompanied by his praise to God.
Not only was the man’s sight healed, but those around him also saw the miracle and joined the man in praising God. The beggar’s exuberant thanks and praise toward God were contagious. A worshipful moment sprang up outside the city gates of Jericho that day because of one man’s encounter with Jesus. The same is true for us today. Thanks and praise go best together, and when they do, it can be contagious.
Throughout the month, as you add to your list of reasons to be thankful, don’t forget to praise God for each of these reasons. When others see and hear you praising God, they will take note and hopefully join you. Remember, thanks and praise are beautiful on their own, but they are best when they accompany one another.