For seventeen years we at WBVN have called ourselves encouragers. In fact, that’s the single characteristic of how we describe this ministry. Certainly, encouragement is the end result of what we do. But, I’ve recently discovered that what we do to receive and experience that encouragement is ‘praise.’ Throughout scripture, true biblical praise has shown to be a powerful experience for believers. For example, in Ezra 3, they ‘praised’ before they laid the foundation of the Temple. Joshua was quiet for six days before being instructed to shout (or praise) and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. In 2Chornicles 20, ‘praisers’ were sent before the Armies of God. There are many other events and times that praise played a significant role. There surely has to be an important purpose for God’s instructions to praise in those situations. I do not think it is necessary for Him to receive those praises, but more importantly for our sake, it is necessary for us to give them.
As I mentioned earlier, we like to use the word encouragement. It’s present in the biblical text. The Hebrew meaning is consistent in each use. Encouragers are associated with ‘cheering’ (my word) people on. It is a word used when imploring people to be strong, to hold fast, to withstand, to repair and to recover, and in each case to be courageous. I think that pretty well describes what we do on WBVN. At least that is our hearts desire for this ministry. We do not challenge listeners to a new doctrine but instead; we cheer our listeners on in their own personal Faith, no matter the specific doctrine.
I know it cannot be true, but it seems that praising was ‘easier’ or at least more common two thousand years ago. There are many scriptures that instruct us to ‘praise’ in all kinds of situations. For some reason, praising is not as natural for today’s believers as it seemed to be for the early Church. I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown up feeling a little too ‘self aware’ at times when I was in the middle of simple praise. Seems that praising God needs to ‘be given a defined time’ for it to take place anymore. By that, I mean, we seem to need to have a special event of praise. For us to feel comfortable to express biblical praise, we need a meeting designed especially for praise rather than a spontaneous event of praise. I think in the future we are going to see more of that ‘spontaneous praise’ as God manifest His presence in our common daily lives. I think a time is coming when we will see believers just drop to their knees, honoring the Father, as we see His presence more and more often in our lives.
The environment provided on the radio seems to elicit a kind of private praise response. That seems to hold some importance for our listeners. I’m not sure just how important. It seems to play a significant place for most of us. I suppose what value it does play can be debated. I know personally it’s been very important many times over the past 17 years.
Today, for the most part, praise gets all bundled up and packaged as ‘singing praises.’ Now, we do plenty of singing here. And, as I mentioned above, it is encouraging. It brings a confidence and an awareness of God’s love and provision. But I think just as importantly, the opportunity for the station to just simply say praises is good for all of us. What we say and what we play is all part of one expression of praising God.
As believers, many times we may not know exactly what to do. Maybe there are no words, no action that can be done, but we can always know that it is powerful to praise Him. If in doubt of anything, you can always be sure on this one thing: praising Him is always appropriate and a certainty to help clarify any situation. It brings to mind the over used, and too much quoted, but always appropriate scripture from Habakkuk, “although the fig tree may not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail; and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, and I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Even now, as we ‘wait’ on re-locating the station, my best advice from me to me is to praise in just this scripture pattern.
What we have to say about the Father, what we believe about Him is so critical during times such as these. The world, and specifically the Christian community, sure needs to know what to say and we need to be saying it with confidence right now! Praising Him does that for us. It’ in times like these, times when the world seems to overwhelm, that we can discover how important ‘praise’ is for us.
Any day could be our last day. I have one general rule for the last or any day of our lives: I believe we should just praise our way into His presence. If it’s not our last day, let us praise Him anyway, expecting the Father to follow up with His presence and evidence of His manifestation in our daily lives. We may not understand every scripture. We may not have memorized each verse. We may not have prayed each morning this week. We may not feel as though God is present at all. We might feel all alone. Maybe things are falling apart all around us. But each day, whether we feel like it or not, we can praise Him.
We’re very grateful for you being in this partnership of believers known as WBVN, in order that we might be able to Praise God over FM 104.5 twenty four hours each day.