People often ask me, “What’s the difference between praise and thanksgiving?” Praise recognizes God’s character. Thanksgiving recognizes God’s actions – past, present and future. Music for the ears of God materializes when we put praise and thanksgiving together; music sent to the Heavens and a calming satisfying balm sinks deep into our soul.
Do you find it hard to praise God? Do the words simply escape you during your devotions? We have a great resource in the book of Psalms from which to learn. Using Psalm 111 as our example we can easily see how praise and thanksgiving will resonate like a fine tuned instrument. In this Psalm, the words of praise and thanksgiving flow seamlessly as the Psalmist shares from his heart. To help delineate between words of praise and words of thanksgiving I have taken the liberty of categorizing for clarity’s sake.
Words of praise – “The Lord is gracious and compassionate.” “The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.” “They are steadfast forever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.” “Holy and awesome is his name.” “To him belongs eternal praise.”
Words of thanksgiving – “Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.” “Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.” “He has caused his wonders to be remembered;” “he provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.” “He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the hands of other nations.” “He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever…” “To him belongs eternal praise.”
When you put all the words together we see a beautifully written Psalm, full of praise and thanksgiving straight from the heart!
I would love to challenge all who read this blog today, and in the future, to find a quiet place and spend time meditating on the words of the Psalmist. Take a moment or 2 and read several Psalms. As you read look for words of praise and thanks. See how the Psalmist intertwines the words and uses them to speak a love letter to God straight from his heart. If you will take my challenge you will discover a greater understanding of the depths of God’s love for you and a desire to know more of God!
“The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord as one. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, they began to sing, praising the Lord: Yes, God is good! Yes, God’s faithful love lasts forever! Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple…” 2 Chronicles 5:13