It happened again, I forgot a password. Only this time it was to the church alarm. I came in early to church to get some work done in the ‘quiet office’ when the alarm was triggered(very loudly I might add) by yours truly forgetting the new password. In my effort to punch in the correct password I got it wrong several times and froze the system. This meant I had to listen to a very loud alarm run its course. Needless to say, I lost peace, time and involved others in my lack of ability to remember a password – namely the security team, a staff contact, and another staff member who was getting the blame for it instead of me (I admit I was tempted to let others think it was them and slip quietly out before anyone realized the guilty person).
Lately I have been drawn to Psalms 89:15 in the Message – “Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise.”
Wow, you mean praising God can unlock something, can give us access to something we can’t get into otherwise?
Now you may already be thinking, “Easy for you to say but my life sucks right now and I really don’t want to praise anybody, especially God, I just want to feel sorry for myself.
If you look at the last half of this Psalm you can read that things weren’t very good there either. There is rejection, questions, ruin, disgrace, enemies, you name it. But if you read the first half of the psalm you would never guess this. In fact there is repeated verses talking about how great God is, how amazing. ‘You are…’ and ‘Your this’. I counted over 20 ‘You’’s.
The password of praise, I believe, is get our eyes off our circumstances and onto God and who He is first! This may seem mechanical when you are going through it, may seem fake, may seem forced, but I believe necessary to receive a life-giving perspective of hope and faith for the future. It gives the negative, life-sucking circumstances less power and gives power to the One who can infuse us with peace in the middle of storms and actually stop the storms.
I have always loved this group of verses from Philippians 4:8,9(NLT)
“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practise all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.”
So encouraging that we might not be good at praising God but that we can PRACTISE and that the more we practise this, God will give us PEACE. What a deal!
So my encouragement is to remember these passwords of praise and when life sucks and goes sideways. Practise fixing our eyes on the One who can stop the alarms and give us access into a deeper life of faith!