I don't recall ever being asked to explain the importance of breathing. It's pretty well accepted that breathing is a good idea and that we should do it many times every day - a lack of breathing is definitely bad for our physical health. It's not an exaggeration to say that praise is as important, should become as natural, and occur as often as our breathing. For if we choose not to live a life of praise, we will just as surely suffocate and spiritually die.
The life of praise requires only a little instruction and a great deal of application. To begin with, we must learn to ALWAYS praise!
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"
Notice that rejoicing is so important that Paul decided to repeat himself. If we are living to love and glorify God, He has promised to work ALL things together for the good (Romans 8:28); so why do we wait for what appear to be the proper conditions for praise? If we really understood and believed that God is in control, wouldn't we praise Him regardless of our particular situation? "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). There is never a wrong time to praise God and there are never circumstances which don't deserve our thankfulness.
Job lost absolutely everything he had except his wife. He then developed sores over every part of his body and was so miserable that his wife encouraged him to "Curse God and die!" (Job 2:10). Job was in great pain and heavy sorrow, but he knew all things came from God with a purpose; "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" (Job 2:10). God is in the good as well as the trouble; we must learn to praise Him in ALL situations!
Our life can become difficult and painful; we may feel bored and unfulfilled, cheated and abused. But if we look at the reasons which keep us from praising, we will find "self" expectations and pride - we will find a life lived according to the desires of the flesh and not according to the fruit of the Spirit. Every portion of our life is to be offered "as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (Romans 12:1). As we fix our eyes on the eternal glory we have through Jesus we will find more and more reasons to praise.
Let's never allow our earthly circumstances to direct our praise: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord" (Psalm 150:6). If we're still breathing, we should still be praising! He has given us eternal life - an eternity of worship in His presence...and that's a GREAT gift! Let's look for the hand of God working around us each and every day. Let's praise Him with all our heart, and then let's praise Him even more!
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God's Daily Word Ministries