January 19, 2018

Singing (Part 1)

George Stiekes

I will praise Thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Thy marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praise to Thy name, O Thou most High. Psalm 9:1-2

Singing is a very vital part of worship.  It is obviously part of the psalmist’s praise in verse 1 and he praises the LORD with his whole heart — with exuberant feelings emphasizing the involvement of the will, intellect and emotions.  Is that the way you sing when your hymnal is open and the congregation is singing one of the great hymns of the faith?

Notice that the psalmist clearly stated that he would sing to God’s name indicating His person, authority and character.  I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live (Psalm 104:33).  God was his primary audience, as should be ours, whether we are singing by ourselves or with the congregation in church.

Certainly, there are times when we do not praise the Lord or sing unto Him with our whole heart.  In fact, this past Sunday as the congregation sang unto the Lord, I was looking at my sermon notes.  There are other times when our hearts are heavy because of some difficulty or stress.  But as we grow in our relationship with the LORD, we begin to find ourselves full of joy even in the midst of these great difficulties (James 1:2).  Paul and Silas found themselves in a very difficult situation in prison, having suffered much and yet they wholeheartedly sang praises unto God (Acts 16:25).

There are times when God overwhelms us with His goodness and blessings and we find it very easy to praise Him.  But we do not have to wait until the circumstances are just right to sing unto the Lord.  I will call upon the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised (Psalm 18:3).  He is worthy regardless of our circumstances.  When things do not seem to be going as we would want them to, we should look beyond those circumstances and recognize that God has something for us on the other side of them.  Paul and Silas discovered an opportunity to share Christ which ended in God using them to bring the jailer and his whole household to the Lord.

We are exhorted to give thanks in everything (I Thessalonians 5:18) and to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4).  Genuine gratitude will always find utterance and while there is that personal aspect of worship, others will benefit by what is witnessed in our lives.  I will show forth all Thy marvelous works (Psalm 9:2). That’s what the Philippian jailer witnessed in Paul and Silas.

Singing unto the Lord is an important part of our worship and it prepares us to receive inspiration, strength, encouragement, and intimate fellowship from Him as we read the Word of God and follow it as it is taught or preached in a church service.

Warning: Do not ever feel that the song service at church is just part of the ritual.  Recognize that we are encouraged to sing unto the LORD and then put your whole heart into it.  You will be amazed what this will do for you and for others who will see your joy and may follow your lead.  Sing forth the honor of His name: make His praise glorious (Psalm 66:2).  Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: take ye of all His wondrous works (Psalm 105:2).

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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