Extol the Lord

Psalm 150:1-6 “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! …”

There’s plenty of reasons to be fearful today, there are many reasons for sadness or despair, and the progression of immorality continues to leach out of the world like an overflowing cesspool of stench.

Whether the nations stand at the brink of another world war, or the mockery of the condemned elevates into a frenzied cacophony of blasphemy—-the Lord in His glory remains Lord of all.

For the moment, cast your eyes toward the light of God’s goodness and let it be a reminder of all that remains steadfast. If we focus too long on all that is around us, we might despair or become disheartened. Turn with me for a moment and look up to the King of Kings, who never changes, who’s sets the heavens in their place, who has no beginning and no end, and whose plans never fail—we can rejoice in the God of our salvation because He is worthy to be praised.

Psalm 99:1-3 “The Lord reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!
The Lord is great in Zion,
And He is high above all the peoples.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name—
He is holy.”

The Holiness of God

Holiness is more than being good and morally upstanding. … God’s holiness is his defining characteristic. It’s a term used in the Bible to describe both his goodness and his power. It is completely unique and utterly all-powerful, radiating from God like an energy.

In a world of darkness, it can be hard to find any good. The pandemic has not only shaken out the church, it is galvanizing the bitterness and anger we see every day in the world. People have become more aggressive, more stressed, more fearful, and simply more uncertain regarding their futures.

When we look to the Throne of God we see a constant. His goodness never changes and His plans have not changed.

Isaiah 43:10-18 “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
I, even I, am the Lord,
And besides Me there is no savior.
I have declared and saved,
I have proclaimed,
And there was no foreign god among you;
Therefore you are My witnesses,”
Says the Lord, “that I am God.
Indeed before the day was, I am He;
And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
I work, and who will reverse it?

God is Sovereign

The Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines God’s sovereignty as His “absolute right to do all things according to his own good pleasure.”

Did you know that God’s sovereignty implies that nothing in this world is out of His control?

Like a timepiece that was made in precision, all of Creation reveals an order. Life can be sustained on Earth because of the window of life by which God created it. The energy of the sun, the gravitational constant necessary between celestial bodies, the human genome, the cycle of renewing earth’s resources….everything was made for a time and a purpose. Sin has corrupted creations original form, the evil perpetuated among us was not formed by God’s hand but it was anticipated.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.”

The Lord brings Joy

Let your spirit be lifted and cast off the fear that surrounds you, no matter how grim the outlook might seem, there is joy in the journey.

The joy of the Lord is the strength of God’s people.

Exaltation is reserved solely for the One worthy of all praise. Even when we find ourselves plodding through the muck of a sinful world, the Lord renews our strength. Like a deer prancing in the spring when new life abounds, God’s people can go forth in joy, being led forth in peace.

Isaiah 55:12 “You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

The joy of the Lord radiates among the people of God. For those who stay in close proximity to His countenance, the abundance of peace settles over them like the dew from Heaven.

Salvation is from our God

As foretold among the prophets and then completed by Jesus the Messiah, salvation has come to all who would receive it.

Isaiah 12:1-6 “You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. …

The wrath of God has been turned away from the redeemed. For those who have received Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are enemies of God no longer. These few who walk the path that is straight will enter through the narrow gate. Salvation is exclusive to those who worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth—how can we not rejoice?

Psalm 35:28 “Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”

We must not keep the good news of the gospel to ourselves. There are those in the world who long for authenticity to life and have grown disparagingly frustrated with the lies that have been told them.

It is the gospel that turns a life that is broken into a life renewed.

Psalm 98:4-6 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!”

Let the Redeemed Say So…

We must not keep silent, the Lord deserves our praise. The world needs to know the hope that is set before them…Life or Death…by God’s grace we are given a choice.

Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, so that you and your descendants may live,”

Sing the song of the redeemed if you have indeed found the newness of Life in Christ. It is a song of thanksgiving, reminding all that salvation comes only from the Lord. It is a song of praise, lifting up the Lord to the highest place, a place of honor that He alone deserves. It is a song of faithfulness, because He remains faithful, even if we aren’t. It is a song of rejoicing, knowing this world is not our home, a world that will one day be made new.

Psalm 95:6 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”

The people of God approach His throne in humility with a contrite spirit. They have received knowledge, given by the Spirit of the nature of God most High.

Do you know Him?

If you’ve never tasted of the goodness of the Lord, fall on your knees before Him and He will lift you up. It is to the lowly that God looks, to those who forsake pride and desire only Him.

He will renew a right spirit within you and your eyes will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 104:33 “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”

You too can rejoice, though the world falls around you, you will see His goodness and know that He is Lord of all.

While you still have breath, let praise come forth to the God of our salvation.

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