There’s nothing like awakening to the warmth and brightness of the sun shining through my bedroom window to bring a feeling of all is well with the world. Lingering in the wavy configurations dancing on the bedspread and the slight, intermittent heat that blows across my face, brings with it the fresh hope of promise for this day.
Psalm 18: 3 says “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to e praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” There are many reasons to praise the Lord, but the simplest, most basic one is that “He is worthy to be praised.” In Hebrew the word “praise” is halal, meaning to “praise with a loud voice.” The most primitive meaning of halal is “to cause to shine.” When we choose to praise, we are throwing the bright spotlight on who our God is, for He is “worthy to be praised and glorified.” The more we shine the spotlight on our awesome God, the more brilliantly He will shine.
Mental health professionals will tell us that bringing a depressed person into a bright room, greatly helps in promoting healing from depression. When we praise the Lord, giving Him the glory due His Name, how much more will our praise open the door for the light of the Lord to permeate our darkness, bringing us into the powerful, freeing joy and peace of the Lord.
To praise the Lord in the good times is easy. We see and understand what He is working and how He is answering prayer. It is clear and obvious to us. But in the dark times of trial and testing, we can’t see clearly and easily understand what is happening. Isaiah 50:10 says “Who among you fears the Lord: Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the Name of the Lord and rely upon his God.” This passage goes on and encourages us not to go out and start fires on our own to try to help light our way. Isaiah tells us to stand in the dark and trust and rely upon our God. When we try to create a false light, not true praise to God, but our own reasoning and thought, we will lay down by the false fires we have created. It will not end well.
Praise brings the genuine light of the Lord to shine brightly in our circumstances. So, praise brings halal—to cause to shine, the brilliance of Almighty God to come and His light and Presence to be enthroned over each and every situation as we praise Him. It’s a conscious choice—praise Him and His light will shine. Don’t, and we will remain in a shadowy place. Our choice. I know what I will choose for this day. What about you?