In most societies, people are given awards or are praised for their achievements. Only those who are worthy of such honors receive them. The feats that many of this world are able to accomplish impress us. They are highlighted. Heralded. Looked up to. We might think of Nobel Prize winners who are given the award for their extraordinary work. We may look at Olympian athletes who blow us away with their athleticism. There are awards in all kinds of areas like the medical field, the military, education (both teachers and students), law enforcement, etc. We understand well what it is to praise those of us mere mortals who go above and beyond the status quo.
If we know how to praise each other for exceptional abilities and acts of service, then we should even more so understand how much we are to praise GOD! God’s love and power are too great for us to even comprehend. He is worthy of all our praise. The word “hallelujah” is a word of joy and praise that means ‘Praise Jehovah.’ Jehovah God has infinite power and infinite love for us. Psalm 105:1 – “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” God is our awesome Creator who called everything into existence from that which didn’t exist. For this He is to be praised! God is our amazing Father who has shown us His immeasurable love by sending His own Son to die for our sins so that we can be saved. For this He is to be praised! Throughout history, God has been making His power and love known to human beings so that they will learn to fear Him, love Him, and praise Him.
I love to read the praise that Peter gives to God at the beginning of his first letter. He tells us about the wonderful love of God and the salvation that He has provided for us by His gracious love. In 1 Peter 1:3, Peter starts by saying “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Praise God! He is the center of our worship. He is worthy of honor and respect. Why is that exactly? Why was Peter praising God in this letter? Keep reading.
Peter goes on to show us what God has done for us and why we are to praise Him. By His “great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). We were dead in our sins. We were separated from God. We were lost. Without hope of ever having life again eternally. BUT, because God is so merciful and loving, He sent Jesus to die for our sins which paid the price for our guilt. He then raised Jesus from the dead by His power in order to give us the ability to be born again. It gives the hope of eternal life!
We have an “inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven” for us (1 Peter 1:4). People inherit the money and possessions that others leave behind for them. That’s good and all, but it won’t last. It’ll get destroyed or stolen. Life on this earth is temporary. But from God, we have an eternal inheritance. One of life. Joy. Peace. Love. Worship. Nothing can compare to what is reserved for me in Heaven. There’s a “place” in Heaven with my name on it. I’m ready to go.
Peter says that we are guarded by God’s power “through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed” (1 Peter 1:5). Our faith in God is going to lead to salvation in the end. And it is through this faith that we “rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, [we] have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of [our] faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). This earthly life throws all kinds of trials at us. Temptation to sin. Emotional pains. Physical pains. Suffering. But through Jesus and God’s powerful mercy, we have faith that when this life is over, we will be rewarded by God to be with Him in Heaven for eternity.
Peter goes on to acknowledge the fact that we have not seen Jesus. But he says: “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). We have not physically seen Jesus. But we see Him and hear Him through God’s Word! And we have come to know Him. We believe Him. We have faith. We love Him. We praise Him. We can’t wait until the day that we do finally get to see God and be with Him forever. It is a joy, as Peter said, that is inexpressible. Our praise for God cannot be bottled up inside of us. We are to thank God, praise God, worship God, honor Him, magnify His name. Love Him. He has brought to us a salvation that is too great for us to comprehend. To borrow the words of the apostle John, when it comes to the great works of God for us, if “every one of them were to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25). As one of our gospel songs says “Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Tho’ stretched from sky to sky.”
Peter finishes by saying that the salvation God has brought to us is so great and wonderful that the prophets worked hard to prophecy about it and the angels desire to look into it (1 Peter 1:10-12). All the prophets worked so hard to put the bits and pieces together and we now enjoy the fruit of their labors in the final revelation of God’s Word. Angels are “impressed” and curious as to the wonderful things God has done for us. It is awesome! Impressive! Immeasurable! Worthy of praise, glory, and honor! Hallelujah! Praise God!
Our God is an awesome God. If we really know God, then we are just going to burst with praise for Him! There is no one like our God. He is the only God. He is all powerful. And He is all loving. What a mighty God we serve! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!