Praising God will surely help strengthen us while we wait on Him. It is a practical and beneficial way to express our faith in God and acknowledge Him for who He is and for what He has done.
We are all in waiting — whether waiting for answers to our prayers, waiting for someone, waiting for changes, or perhaps waiting for our own return home. Sometimes the wait is longer than we expect, but sometimes we do not anticipate what we wait for happens sooner.
For some people, waiting can be boring — they feel uncertain or restless, hence they decide to take shortcuts, which unfortunately often leads to disappointments. And even worse is when people deliberately choose to commit sins because of impatience, as displayed by the Israelites impatiently waiting for Moses at Mount Sinai (Exodus 32).
In our world today, waiting can be very challenging, especially when the cultures of instant gratification and performance-based competition are exalted. People tend to dislike the idea of waiting and delay, often caused by fear of missing out, and thus self-reliance manifested in extremely hard work becomes sort of the way of life.
In contrast, Scripture teaches us to be patient, hopeful, and faithful in times of waiting. In moments like these, we have a choice — whether to draw near to God or to draw away from Him.
Giving praises to God is a practical and beneficial way that draws us closer to Him. In fact, praising God is one of the purposes He has given us as believers.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9, NIV).
Therefore, as we wait, we are to praise God instead of committing sins. Praising God while we wait on Him can strengthen our faith, bring blessings and miracles in our lives, encourage others, and will obviously bring delight to Him.
Praising God Strengthens Our Faith
Abraham waited 25 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Notice what he did while he was waiting:
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises (Romans 4:20-21, NLT).
The faith of Abraham is our example. He gave glory to God — in other words, he praised God — while he was waiting for God to fulfill His promise to make him the father of many nations through his son, Isaac (Genesis 17:1-21). Abraham did not wait until the manifestation of God’s miracle to praise Him, which otherwise does not require much faith.
One of the best ways to express our faith in God is by praising Him even before we receive the answers to our prayers or see the fulfillment of His promises.
As we praise God, we are reminded again of His greatness and goodness, and so as we remember all His benefits, our faith grows stronger (Psalm 103:1-2). And as we wait on Him, our strength shall be renewed (Isaiah 40:31).
Praising God Activates His Miracles in Our Lives
A popular story from the Bible that we probably heard in Sunday School is about Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:16-34). They were thrown into prison with careful guarding after a wrong accusation, however, what happened next is remarkable:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose (Acts 16:25-26, NIV).
God’s power was manifested through the praise and worship, and brought, not only the miracle of deliverance to Paul and Silas, but also, even remarkably, resulted in the miracle of spiritual conversion of the jailer and all his household (Acts 16:27-34).
Praise to God has also been connected with healing (Jeremiah 17:14; Psalm 103:3), and other personal benefits. The following spiritual blessings can happen to us as we lift up our praises to God, as well noted by Dr. Ryan Fraser:
- Our eyes are opened up (in the spiritual sense to see God more clearly); Our minds are woken up (from spiritual slumber and worldly desensitization).
- Our heads are lifted up (from discouragement and disappointment); Our hearts are filled up (with joy, peace, and satisfaction).
- Our sin is given up (through repentance and surrender to God); Our cares and anxieties are cast up (through trust in God’s love).
- Our souls and broken spirits are healed up (from sin, pain, and sorrow)
- Our faith is built up (by the words of God); Our fellowship is linked up (through unity in the church).
Praising God Encourages Others
Not only is praising God beneficial to us, but it can also encourage others. Our faithfulness or endurance, regardless of the circumstances, can be a powerful testimony that edifies people around us.
This is especially true because our praises to God come from our hearts, led by the Spirit. Hence, the word of God that we proclaim through our praises will build the faith of the hearers (Colossians 3:16; Romans 10:17).
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16, NKJV).
We can also learn from the story of a blind man (Luke 18:35-43). He was desperately waiting for divine healing when a multitude told him that Jesus was passing by. And he persistently cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” before he finally received his sight. Notice what happened afterward:
And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God (Luke 18:43, NKJV).
Physical blindness might not be our problem today, however, we were spiritually blind before believing in Christ (John 3:3). Have we then experienced a moment — like the blind man — where our praises to God draw all people around us to worship Him as we are healed from spiritual blindness?
That is the moment we are born again and receive a new heart (i.e., spiritual sight) to see the Kingdom of God. Praise the Lord for our salvation! (Isaiah 12:2).
Praising God Brings Delight to Him
The Bible tells us that it is good to praise God and give Him thanks in all circumstances.
In doing so, we bring delight to God as we are doing His will. Therefore, we can be confident that as we praise, He provides. Praise is the most direct avenue of demonstrating our total dependence on God and trust in Him alone.
Praising God is also the most practical way of expressing our delights in Him. As we delight in the Lord, He shall give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
We can learn from King David and the prophet, Habakkuk for their passionate love for God, expressed through their songs of praises to Him:
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name (Psalm 63:3-4, NKJV).
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls — Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Habakkuk 3:17-18, NKJV).
Why Does This Matter?
Praising God — either through songs, poetry, prayers, writings, or any other mediums — will surely help while we wait on Him. It is a practical way to express our faith in God and acknowledge Him for who He is and for what He has done.
We must believe that praising God with grace in our hearts brings many benefits in our relationship with Him. However, people might draw near to God with their mouth, and honor Him with their lips, but their heart is far from Him (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8).
Therefore, we must continually remember that our praises should flow from the heart that has been transformed by the Spirit. And we are to do it in the name of Jesus.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess His name (Hebrews 13:15, NIV).
Finally, as we praise God, we trust that He works for those who wait on Him.
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! (Isaiah 64:4, NLT).
God alone deserves all the glory, so let Him do all the works in us and through us! Praise the LORD. Amen.
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Boris Jovanovic
Philip Wijaya, Ph.D. currently lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife, Sandra, and their daughter, Shalom. His interest in science and faith in God has motivated him to actively write in his personal blog (philipwijaya.com), in addition to his professional research work in the area of clean energy and chemical engineering. In his leisure time, he enjoys sports, football games, music, and traveling with family.