Remembering Who God is Through What He Does
I’ve heard it said we should praise God and worship Him for who He is, not for what He can do for us. My question is this: How do we know who He is, what His character and personality are like without reference to what He’s done?
How do you know I’m generous if you don’t see or hear of me expressing generosity by giving of my time or money? How do you know I’m patient if you never see me express patience? How do you know I enjoy math if you never see me do a calculation?
Think about the Psalms, and many of the prayers in the Bible (in Psalms and elsewhere). For example:
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah
You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Selah
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
The clouds poured down water,
the skies resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.
You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Asaph (the writer of this psalm) reflects on the character and nature of God by remembering what He had done in the past. From that, he drew comfort and strength.
We praise God for who He is, but we only know who He is by what He has done. (The same is true for us.) It’s OK to remember what God has done & to ask Him to do it again, because that’s who He is.
Question: What is one specific thing God has done (either in your own life, in the world around you, in the life of someone you know, or even before you were born) that reminds you of who He is today? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.