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Thoughtful Praises
Read: Psalm 143

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. -Psalm 143:5

Most of us long to praise God more joyfully than we do. One common hindrance is that no matter how hard we try, we often don't feel like praising Him.

Bible teacher Selwyn Hughes says that God has placed within us three main functions: the will, the feelings, and the thoughts. Our will, he says, has little or no power over our feelings. You can't say, "I am going to feel different," and then accomplish it by sheer willpower. What the feelings do respond to are the thoughts. Quoting another source, Hughes says: "Our feelings follow our thoughts like baby ducks follow their mother." So how can we make our thoughts the leader of our feelings?

David showed us the way in Psalm 143. Feeling overwhelmed and distressed (v.4), he took time to think about the Lord (v.5). He remembered God's lovingkindness, trustworthiness, and guidance (v.8); His protection and goodness (vv.9-10); His righteousness and mercy (vv.11-12). Once David got going, his feelings began to follow his thoughts.

Name your own blessings daily; contemplate them thoroughly; speak about them to God and to others. Gradually your concern about feelings will diminish and you'll be praising God with joy. -Joanie Yoder

Take control of my heart today,
Keep it filled with joy and praise
And gratitude for every good
You bestow on all my days. -Sees

Joy thrives in the soil of praise.

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