Have you ever lost something only to discover that the item you were searching for wasn't that far away? Maybe it was even closer than you imagined, like "finding" your missing eyeglasses right on top of your head.
Some of us may feel that way about praise. Somehow along the way we lost it. Maybe it happened during a hardship in our lives. Or maybe while our faith was being tested. But I believe that, even during difficult times, praise is closer than we think.
Psalm 118:1 helps us find our praise . . . right in the neighborhood of thanksgiving. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Praise is a language naturally spoken by children of God. If we find ourselves speaking the language of complaining or ingratitude, we are not speaking our native language. True praise is possible even when we don’t feel good about the world in which we live.
Psalm 7:17 gives us the reason for praise, “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness.” The One who orchestrates the destiny of men and who laid a foundation for all creation, is intrinsically good. Our God who has existed for all eternity—who is all knowing, all powerful, ever present in every time and space—in His very nature is good!
Thirty-six times in the Psalms we are reassured that “[God’s] love endures forever.” God’s love will never change; it is constant. We don’t have a God who one day is good and the other day bad. We serve a God whose very nature is good—every good and perfect gift comes directly from Him. We know that His love will never end.
Friend, your circumstances may not be good right now. Your health may not be great. Your finances may not be in the top condition. But I know that the nature of God will never change. Goodness, kindness, and mercy flow from Him. His intrinsic nature is unchanging. And when evil happens, we know God is not the author of that evil because God is good.
As the psalmist writes, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3). When we thank God for who He is and for how He loves, we find ourselves right in the center of praise.