These are the words of Jesus quoted by the apostle from a prophetical psalm concerning Him. Praise is an element of the gospel. It entered essentially, if not prominently, into our Lord’s personal life. Though He was “a man of sorrow,” yet there were moments when gleams of joy shone upon His soul and strains of praise breathed from His lips.
Our Lord was of a thankful spirit, and a thankful spirit is a praiseful spirit. How often the words were on His lips, “I thank You, O Father.” He thanked God for the sovereignty of His grace for manifesting Himself to His disciples, for the food He was about to distribute, and over the grave of the friend He was about to raise from the dead. In all things Jesus was of thankful, and so, my soul, should you be!
You have everything to praise God for. You should praise Him for the glorious gospel, which, in the blessed announcements it makes of full pardon, of free justification, of gracious adoption, of present grace, and future glory there is not one announcement to dishearten or repel a penitent sinner. To such it is a “joyful sound,” a salvation without a condition, a righteousness without a work, a pardon without money, a heaven without human merit or purchase. Is not this sufficient to awaken the deepest gratitude and the loudest praise in your soul?
And, O my soul! what shall be said of the praise due from you for the gift of Jesus? Can you think of Him for a moment, and not feel your whole soul thrilling with thanksgiving and tremulous with praise? Oh, praise God for Jesus, for such a life, for such a death, for such a righteousness, and for such an atonement as His. Is there no deep response of your heart to the thankful, praiseful words of the apostle: ”Thanks be unto God, for His unspeakable gift?”
And have you not reason to praise God for your conversion? Oh, what a wonder of sovereign grace that ever you were brought out of nature’s darkness into God’s marvelous light! That, before divine power drew you, and divine love chose you, and divine blood cleansed you, and a divine righteousness was imputed to you, that when lying in your blood, cast out to the loathing of yourself, you heard the voice of Jesus saying “Live!” and that then He washed you, and clothed you in His righteousness and you became lovely through His loveliness put on you! Praise, oh, praise Him loudly for that happy day when He savingly drew you to Himself and you became His.
Praise God for all—praise Him for the blessings of His providence, for the sorrow that shades, for the mercy that smiles, and for the judgment that frowns, for God’s love breathing through all. Thus shall you be learning to sing the “new song,” and to unite in the never-ending music of heaven. My soul, seek from God the spirit of thankfulness and cultivate habitually the grace of praise. It is a soul-purifying and a God-glorifying grace. It keeps the heart in perpetual bloom, and converts the life into a daily psalm!
Taken from Consider Jesus: Thoughts for Daily Duty, Service, and Suffering by Octavius Winslow, 1870 (public domain).
Edited and abbreviated by Aaron Dunlop for this blog ©thinkgospel.com.