Friday, March 16, 2007

May Jesus Christ be Praised!

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Even when we are sad, we can find solace in praising Jesus Christ because He deserves our praise! There are more reasons to praise Him than I can count, and one of them is that He can turn our mourning, our sadness, into dancing!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12

Are you easily discouraged by the way things are going in our culture and in our world at large? Especially lately, I have found my “earthly bliss” fading – and I find great comfort in God’s plan to reunite His children with Himself. Looking forward to that time, Paul tells the Thessalonians that they should comfort each other with these words:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. I Thess. 4:16-18

I know I find comfort in this – we will always be with the Lord! May Jesus Christ be praised!

To God, the Word, on high, the host of angels cry,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let mortals, too, upraise their voice in hymns of praise,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Scripture confirms what this verse of the hymn tells us: angels worship God and praise Him.

And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM." Heb. 1:6

And mortals too, are called to praise God.


In Revelation, we get a great picture of mortals and angels, together praising Jesus.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever Amen." Rev. 7:9-12

Be this at meals your grace, in every time and place;
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this, when day is past, of all your thoughts the last
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When mirth for music longs, this is my song of songs:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evening shadows fall, this rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

These two verses make it clear: we should be praising in every time and every place, and praising God should be the last thing we do before our eyes shut in sleep. In every time and every place – it’s pretty easy to say those words or sing them in a hymn, but do we really do it? I am reminded of the story of Paul and Silas in jail:

When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were unfastened. Acts 16:23-26

I have not had to endure the hardships that Paul faced. Even while in prison, he and Silas sang hymns of praise to God. That leaves me a lot of room for improvement, how about you? I am going to commit these next few verses to memory, so that I will be reminded to praise Jesus in every time and place.

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1-4

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