Sing Joyfully

Every now and then I run across someone who says they just can’t believe in a God who needs our praise. They suggest that God is somehow insecure and needs constant reassurance that He is the greatest. They believe praise and worship are just an ego trip invented by God to satisfy His vanity. As usual, the nonbeliever gets things turned around. He or she looks at worship as being primarily designed for the benefit of God, as if God really needed anything that we can offer Him. Rather, praise and thanksgiving are designed by God for the benefit of humanity.
How is that true? God knows that praise focuses our attention on Him. We need that. It sharpens our awareness of His goodness and love–qualities we need to possess. God already has them, but they are sometimes elusive in our lives. God knows that what we exalt molds us. We are more apt to imitate whatever we admire and worship. When we acknowledge the qualities of God, such as holiness and love, our hearts are uplifted and we are motivated toward greater goodness. The life of the Christian is to be filled with praise. “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him” (Psalm 33:1). God does not need the reassurance of our praise, as we imperfect human beings might. He is utterly righteous, whether we acknowledge it or not. But our faith is incomplete if we fail to praise Him in worship (see Psalm 33:18-22). –Ward Patterson, Campus Minister