A Praise-Filled Heart
Praising God is exalting God for Who He is, by calling attention to His majesty and glory. The idea of praising God should be paramount to us. We praise God for Who He is; The Almighty God, our Redeemer, Deliverer, Restorer and Shepherd. We praise Him for His love, goodness, kindness, grace and mercy to us. Psalm 33:1 says, “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.”
When praising God, we need to have our focus where it belongs, on God, not on other things. When we are not fully engaged in our praise, then we are not really praising God. We are to praise God in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him...” According to 1 Corinthians 10:31, praising God should actually be in everything we do, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”. But Psalm 138 brings out the ultimate expression of praise.
Psalm 138:1-2 – “I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name. For Your loving-kindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
A Praise-Filled life has a praise-filled heart, and there are three aspects of a praise-filled heart that are found in Psalm 138. A Praise-Filled heart praise with:
The Whole Heart - “I will praise you with my whole heart...” Psalm 138:1
Our praise to God isn’t supposed to be half-hearted. It is supposed to be with one’s whole heart. (Ps. 111:1). Jesus talked about this in Mathew 15:8-9, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me.” Half-hearted praise is insincere praise that is not giving glory to God to full measure.
Praising God with our whole heart is praising Him with the totality of who we are. It is leaving nothing behind, but unreservedly giving praise to God. This means we are to praise God the same way we are commanded to love Him-with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. So a Praise-Filled life is a life that is wholly praising God. The next aspect of a Praise-Filled heart is that it is…
A Humble Heart - “I will worship toward Your holy temple...” Psalm 138:2
To worship means to show humility and respect to God. “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (Psalm 95:6). Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.”
Humility isn’t denying who God made us to be; it is being honest about who we are before God Almighty, that is, our weaknesses compared to God’s strength. Humility is often referred to as the greatest virtue a Christian can possess. This quality of humility of heart is so important that God says in Isaiah 57:15, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit…” A humble and contrite heart is what the Lord desires. To worship God is to humble ourselves in submission to Him. So a Praise-filled life is a life that submits to God in worship. Finally, a Praise- Filled heart is
An Encouraged Heart – “In that day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3
Encouragement is described as a cool breeze, or cold drink, on a hot summer’s day. It revitalizes and refreshes our hearts. When we feel overwhelmed, we need to find encouragement to help us overcome and be victorious just like David in Psalm 42:11 (NIV), “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
David encouraged himself by counseling his emotions his emotions on what to think and how to respond to crisis. It’s easier to worry, complain and lose hope than to praise God, when in trouble. But we need to be careful, not to be too critical of ourselves in order not to have a condemning heart. We can either be our own best friend or worst enemy. When our hearts are encouraged and strengthen, then we will be able to praise God without hesitation or fear and declare His mighty works to the world. Paul and Silas are great examples of a Praise-Filled life.
Acts 16:25-26 says; “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.”
In the midst of trouble, Paul and Silas chose to have a humble heart by shifting their focus unto God, encouraged themselves by praising God and praised God with their whole heart until the power of God was manifested.
These were the same guys that were beaten before been put in prison without hope of been released, but they chose to praise. Likewise, when we choose to pray and praise God in the midst of challenges of life, the Holy Spirit will encourage and emboldened us to stand tall and strong. In conclusion, a Praise-Filled heart is a humbled and encouraged heart that praises God whole-heartedly.