GIFT OF PRAISE
“I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love.”
// Isaiah 63:7
"The house of Israel" refers to God's chosen people, the Jewish people who were suffering greatly at this period of time. But this passage is a remembrance of God's steadfast love. In recounting the steadfast love of the Lord, they did so according to what was granted to them. So when circumstances were uncertain, they could rely on the past abundance of His love and be encouraged.
Jesus has revealed to us that we are now the chosen people. There is now no longer a separation from outsider or insider, Jew or Gentile, the tribe of Israel or the tribe of Judah. We are included into the prophecy of Isaiah and welcomed into its promise. We are able to recount the steadfast love of the Lord, according to all the Lord has granted us — and He has granted us Jesus.
When we spend time with God in His presence we become more and more like Him. As we behold His glory and remember all that He has done, He builds our faith and strengthens us for any circumstance in life. He matures us to persevere, and in turn we become more and more like Him as we behold His character. As we behold His character we learn that He never changes — His solid, reliable, and steadfast love is constant. We are transformed by that love because His ways are not like the world's ways. So as we recount the ways of the Lord, we become more and more reliable and steadfast towards Him.
One way to know what is praiseworthy is to look at scripture, and as we study the heart of the Lord, we are able to recognize the way He moves throughout our lives. Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.”
We learn through scripture about God’s character, and we have living proof through Jesus of His true heart toward every matter. As we spend time in the Word with the Spirit of God, we begin to learn about the promises of His steadfast love and His character. As we do this, His love becomes our love and His praises become our praise.
// Paula Buresh