Praise material

Psalm 145
I’m reading a book by the comedian Steve Martin. It’s fun to read about the early life of someone whose career I’ve watched and enjoyed. There’s a line that caught my attention in the reading. Martin is speaking about a “short-lived but troublesome worry.” He wondered if comedy could ever stop. That would mean his work and future would be in jeopardy.

Then this thought came to him: Comedy is a distortion of what is happening, and there will always be something happening.

In other words, there’s always material. No comedian has to worry about running out of things to joke about. People will always be people and there’s always a twist you can put on what they do.

Now, pardon the parallel. I couldn’t help but stop reading to draw a similar idea. While it’s not funny; it is joyous. No Christian ever has to worry about running out of praise for God.

First of all, God’s “kingdom is an everlasting kingdom” and the Lord’s “dominion endures throughout all generations.” God will never stop being good. God’s faithfulness will endure forever. The Lord will uphold God’s people and watch over them. I could offer several other points of trust, but the psalmist already did so for us in Psalm 145.

We realize that every inch of victory and providence serves as a receptacle of praise. But, of course, praise is not meant for storage.

While God will never turn away from us, there’s a choice we need to make. Knowing God’s greatness is forever, how willing are we to bless God’s name “forever and ever”? Let’s assume we make the choice to praise. Know this, then. Our praise is not only for us or for God. The psalmist reminds us that “one generation shall laud your works to another.”

Doesn’t that make all the generational fighting and bickering seem foolish? How much time have we spent arguing about music and ministry? Our emphasis should be to share God’s goodness to each other. Generation to generation.

How much of the church’s struggle today can trace back to our inability to do so?

Maybe there’s a better question. How much of the church’s struggle today can begin to heal if we started to share God’s goodness more with each other? Let’s go easy on sharing our hard opinions about what makes each other less faithful. There’s still a log in your eye, after all. Let’s speak praise into the hearts and souls of one another.

Yes, I mean to be in the habit of talking about God’s goodness. Don’t tell me you can’t. Some of you talk a lot about how good your team is this year. How good that movie was. How that restaurant was so, so good you can’t wait to go back.

Praise is an affirmation of what God is doing. And God is always doing something. For the Christian who is learning to be aware of God’s presence, there is always praise material.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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