Psalm 100 is a powerful encouragement to praise the Lord: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness... For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.”
(That sounds great, but how can we praise God when things aren’t going well?)
Let me tell you a story found in 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah was rich, powerful, and “committed to the ways of the Lord.” One day a group of messengers came to warn him that a vast army, one formed by the alliance of three separate groups, was coming to attack and destroy Judah. There was no way he could win such a battle. It was hopeless.
(Ever felt like that—doing your best, yet suddenly disaster strikes and you wonder what to do?)
Jehoshaphat sought the Lord for guidance and ordered a national fast to show that he and his people were serious about seeking God. As they prayed, Jehoshaphat reminded everyone of what God had done for them in the past.
(We need to remind ourselves of the promises and the power of our loving heavenly Father, especially in dark, difficult times.)
A prophet in the crowd spoke for God, saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” He told them where to find the enemy and where to take up their positions against them, adding, “Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah… do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” Then the king and all the people bowed down and worshipped God.
(Worshipping God is a good way of surrendering our problems to Him.)
The next morning as King Jehoshaphat assembled the army, he appointed singers to walk in the front. They sang, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” Do you think all his people felt like making that joyful noise? Don’t you think some were afraid? But listen to the next verse about the power of praise.
“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves, attacking each other.”
(Imagine what might happen in our own lives if we decided to bow down, worship God, and believe what he says all the time, not just when things are going well, not just when we feel like it.)
The Bible says to praise God at all times, especially when we don’t want to. Let’s get to shouting, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.” Remember, as King Jehoshaphat and his people began to sing and praise, God went into action on their behalf.
We’ve been called upon to make a joyful noise. If we get discouraged, may our lips still shout out “Hallelujah,” (which means “Praise God”) as we trust him to take us through every difficulty.
Let’s get noisy!