(By Rachel Joyce)
Does it feel like God is far away? Do you long to feel the everlasting arms holding you closely? Then pour out your longing to Him and then open your mouth and praise Him. In God's Word, we learn that He dwells in the praises of His people.
"But you are holy, you who inhabit the praises of Israel" (Psalm 22:3 WEB).
As we praise Him, we draw near to Him and He draws near to us. We were made to worship, and it is through worship that our hearts are overwhelmed with the joy and delight of who God is. The psalmist of Psalm 147, declares how wonderful it is to praise God.
“Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God…He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power…praise the Lord!” (Psalm 147:1, 3-5, 20).
He begins and ends the psalm with praise to the Lord because he believes that it is a good thing to sing God’s praises and so that’s what he does—praise Him. He would have been familiar with the words penned many years before this by another psalmist who described God as inhabiting, dwelling in, the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).
When we sing God’s praises, we sense His closeness in a very real way. And we desperately need His presence. When we go through our days without sensing Him with us, we miss out on the joy He intends for us.
Life is hard, too hard to do without Him. When the trials come, we need His strong hand in ours, holding us up and guiding us.
This God of ours, this Healer of broken hearts and mender of broken lives, also numbers the stars and names them. How incredible is that?
The same fingers that gently mend our internal brokenness also reach out into the vastness of space and hold the stars in place. His naming and ordering of the stars tell of His greatness and power. Nothing is too hard for Him.
He is able to restore and redeem. He is able to heal and make whole. What a Saviour we have!
May we rest in His strength and enjoy His presence today. While we trust Him to do His perfect work in us and through us and around us, we can lift our voices and praise our great God.
"Be still and know that I am God...the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:10-11).