Updated: Dec 31, 2020
For many people, the sentiment this New Year's Eve is "Good riddance, 2020!" The loss and suffering endured over the last twelve months is great and must be acknowledged. But even if it was the worst of the worst, the very best way to spend New Year's Eve is Praising God.
Psalm's 150 is the last Psalm of this wonderful book of the Bible. The book of Psalms captures the prayers and praise of God's people as they endured unimaginable difficulties - war, death, loss, and even exile. Nonetheless, Psalm 150 fittingly begins and ends with "Praise the Lord!"
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Praise God in his holy sanctuary!
Praise him in his stronghold in the sky!
Praise him for his miracles of might!
Praise him for his magnificent greatness!
Praise him with the trumpets blasting!
Praise him with piano and guitar!
Praise him with drums and dancing!
Praise him with the loud, resounding clash of cymbals!
Praise him with every instrument you can find!
Let everyone everywhere join in the crescendo
of ecstatic praise to Yahweh!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:1-6, TPT
Praising the Lord is the best way to end this year and begin the next. As we say in the liturgy of the Great Thanksgiving, "It is good and right to give our thanks and praise." That's true no matter what you've endured or what you're going through today - cancer, Covid-19, unemployment, death...anything.
But how can praise be possible in such a time as this? The Psalmist shows us; it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Praise God for who he is, for his "magnificent greatness."
God is great, God is good. God is faithful, strong, true, unchanging, and forgiving. God is a way-maker, miracle-worker, faithful friend, healer, redeemer, savior, and infinitely more. Above all, God is love! Praise God for loving you!
One of my favorite Christian worship song of 2020 is Chris Tomlin's "Who You are to Me." The message immediately spoke to me and many others. Take a listen. And more importantly spend some time pondering who God is to you. Who has he been to you in this past year?
2. Praise God for what he's done, "his miracles of might."
You are still alive! Praise God for having sustained you, helped you, and healed you. If you're still waiting for him to answer your prayers, praise him for his promises! Praise God for the blessings you received in 2020. Who showed up for you? Thank God for the people you appreciate now more than ever. Praise God for all the good things you received.
Above all praise him for saving your from sin and death through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. If we have faith in Jesus, believing and trusting him, we will have abundant life today and for tomorrow the promise of eternal life.
3. Praise God with all you've got.
As the popstar Madonna became famous for singing, you've got to "Express yourself!" Music is one important way to praise. Even if you can't play or sing, you can listen. Dial up some praise and worship. You don't need Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve. I'll be tuning in to Elevation Church's on-line Praise Party tonight at 10am EST.
"Pathways of Praise"
I love what one worship leader loves to say and sing: "I'm gonna worship my way through this battle!" The Bible speaks of the "pathways of praise." Wherever we've been, whatever we've endured, and whatever lies ahead, if we stick to the pathways of praise, God is faithful and will bless us!
Happy New Year! See you in 2021!
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