Sunday, April 9, 2017

Palm Sunday: 4 Reasons to Praise

4 Reasons to Praise

Today is Palm Sunday. Today we celebrate the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem for His final days on Earth. It marks the beginning of what we call "Holy Week," the week leading up to Easter. Jesus arrived in Jerusalem that day on the back of a donkey, a symbol in that day of peaceful intentions. Palm branches were spread on the ground, a symbol of victory. What I want to talk about though, is the praise of the people who were there when He arrived. 

As Jesus rode in to the city, His people lined the street. They shouted "blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" They celebrated because of all of the amazing things they had seen the Lord do and because they knew He was the messiah and had come to rescue them. 

The Pharisees who were in the crowd did not appreciate the praises of the people so they told Jesus to silence them. Jesus' response to them is so powerful. He says, "I tell you, if these were quiet, the very stones would cry out!." What He is saying is there is nothing that can stop the praise of our God! He is worthy of praise therefore He WILL receive it. 

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad: let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them: let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord.
Psalm 96:11-13

I hope to stir your heart a little today with some reasons to praise God!

Testify of His Goodness

When we praise we are celebrating God for who He is and for everything He has and has not done. When we begin praising our hearts begin to recall, not only His present faithfulness, but His faithfulness throughout our lives. Our praise has the ability to spill over into the lives of people around us. I can remember when I was a new believer and I would watch other people worshiping with such joy and freedom or hear them speak His praises in such an intimate way. I longed for what they had. Praise is contagious. 

So praise to tell of God's faithfulness.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His faithful love endures forever!" Psalm 136:1

Praise Changes Our Perspective 

Thursday night, on my way to church, I was in an off mood. It was just one of those days when you feel weighed down by nothing in particular and you just seem to have misplaced your joy. I honestly thought about turning the car around and heading home, but I am so glad I didn't.

The minute the worship band started playing something in me changed. The heaviness that I felt was lifted as we belted out "Your Love Never Fails." Taking time to step outside of myself and worship the One who is deserving of all praise is so good for my soul. It can realign my priorities, adjust my opinions and strip me of my selfishness. 

It's not just my own praise that changes my perspective. Sometimes during worship someone else will catch my eye. Sometimes it's someone who I know has been through heartbreaking circumstances, but has their hands lifted. Other times it's a man, who usually looks bored, clapping along. Occasionally it's an unashamed teenager at the altar. Whoever it may be, the praises of other people deeply move me. 

So praise because praise shifts our focus from ourselves and places it on God.

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever."
Psalm 30:11-12

4 Reasons to Praise

Praise Makes the Enemy Flee

There are multiple accounts in the Bible when God's people obtain victory over their enemies through praise. 

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in prison. While they are praying and singing hymns, an earthquake shakes open the prison doors and loosens the bonds of the prisoners. After witnessing this miracle the jailer himself receives Christ and sets Paul and Silas free.

Joshua and his people defeat Jericho (Joshua 6) by circling the city wall seven times while praising the Lord. 

In 2 Chronicles 20 we see Jehoshaphat and his army praising God. As they do, their enemies get confused and begin fighting among themselves until they completely destroy each other, leaving Judah victorious.

So praise because our praise defeats the enemy!

"You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you."
Psalm 8:2

He is Worthy

We really don't need any reason to praise other than because Jesus is worthy of our praise. He traded a life in Heaven for a life on earth. He took on human form. Undeserving, He suffered rejection, physical pain, abuse and a humiliating death on a cross. He did it all for us so that we may know Him and have everlasting life with Him in Heaven. 

So praise because our praise belongs to Jesus alone!

"Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure His greatness." 
Psalm 145:3

I want to encourage you to spend this week in a constant state of praise. Keep a list of things to be thankful for each day. Keep your radio turned to worship music. Thank Him just for who He is. Thank Him for what He has done and what He has yet to do. Most importantly, in the spirit of Holy Week, thank Him for the sacrifice He made on the cross!

"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord" Psalm 150:1-6


  1. Let the whole earth give God praise!

  2. Great post! As we observe Christ's sacrifice for us later this week and mourn His death, He is still worthy of praise, even if that praise takes a different form.

    1. Amen! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Happy Easter to you and your family!

  3. I Love this! It's one of the most important thing I've learned and that I teach my children and grandchildren and whoever comes to our family prayer night. When I feel myself pulled into negativity I immediately start to praise God and thank Him for everything I can think of and I immediately feel a change in my being. God Bless!

    1. That is such a good habit to learn. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you have a great Easter weekend!