Sabbath School Summary
By Elder Dr Masimba Mavaza
A Life of Praise
Memory Text: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4, NKJV).
It’s always easy to shout with joy to the Lord when we feel joy. It’s not so easy, however, when things are bad, when we are in the worst situations imaginable, when the crucible heats up. Yet, it’s precisely then that we need—perhaps more than ever—to praise God, for praise is a means of helping us sustain faith.
Indeed, praise can transform even our darkest circumstances, maybe not in the sense of changing the facts around us, but in the sense that it can change us, and those around us, in a way that helps us face challenges.
Praise is faith in action. It may not always be natural to us, but when we practice praise so that it becomes a natural part of our lives, it has the power both to convert and to conquer.
SABBATH: Faith is praising God even in the storm. Your attitude & gratitude determines your altitude. While it’s easy to be joyful when all is well & hard to praise God when life is hard, He has done much for us already to deserve our praise. When the crucible heats up, God is needed more than ever. When you focus on the storm, you remain in it. But when you praise God in the storm, He takes you out of it.
SUNDAY: “Believe to the end, even if all men go astray… praise God in your loneliness”; the words of the Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky, who was death sentenced & at the last moment had his verdict cut to just a prison time. Paul was not depressed in prison but wrote about the need to rejoice always. Times may not be good or we may not feel like rejoicing, but praising God is an act of faith (Phil. 4:4-7).
MONDAY: “To be painted into a corner” is a scenario where you paint a floor & find yourself in a corner such that you cannot get out unless you walk over the fresh paint. In life, our faith like the wet paint traps us at times. We either reject our faith (God) or it compel us to believe in the impossible. The Israelites were cornered by God but He did not forsake them (Josh. 5:13-6:20, Ps. 66:1, 2, Heb. 11:30).
TUESDAY: Praising God even in good times may seem unnatural. How much more hard to do it in bad times? (Ps. 145). Praise till it becomes an ambience you live in. C. Spurgeon wrote a book, “The Practice of Praise”, on Ps. 145:7 to show 3 things to aid in praise; 1. We see God is great when we look around us 2. We praise God when we recall what we have seen & 3. Praise is practiced as we talk of it.
WEDNESDAY: Godly praise has the power to both convert & conquer. Stripped & beaten, Paul & Silas still rejoiced (Acts 16:16-34). Bound in chains, the duo praised God in the darkness of the inner prison. The other inmates listened to them as they prayed & sung (vs 29). After the earth tremor, no prisoner had escaped. The jailer asked Paul & Silas what he ought to do for him to be saved (see Phil. 1:29, 30).
THURSDAY: A singular method of fighting an enemy is by praising God. Jehoshaphat discovered this & subscribed to it. When enemies encamped Judah at all sides, he did not rely on trained armies or fenced cities but God. Their battle song was praising & exalting God & they were able to conquer their foes with God (2 Chron. 20:1-30). Though God was going to fight for them, they still had to face the foe.
FRIDAY: “Let us educate our hearts & mood to speak of the praise of God for His matchless love. Let us educate our souls to be hopeful & abide in the light shining from the cross of Calvary.” We should not forget that we’re God’s children. We should have faith in Him even in the storm. Magnify God’s name. Praise Him even when you fall into darkness & even in temptation. Rejoice always, again I say rejoice!
—Ellen G. White, “Jehoshaphat,” pp. 190–203, in Prophets and Kings; “The Fall of Jericho,” pp. 487–498, in Patriarchs and Prophets & Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 593, 594.
God can bring you to Jericho/Red Sea- This expression means that God can lead you into difficult situations to build your faith in Him. He’s always there to save us if we hope in Him.
The “shout” at Jericho- When God called the Israelites to “shout,” it was the same type of shouting that David writes about in Psalm 66.
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quote- “Believe to the end, even if all men go astray and you are left
the only one faithful; bring your offering even then and praise God in your loneliness.”
Rejoicing- Praise without ceasing.
SUNDAY- Framework for Praise
MONDAY- Praying Down Walls
TUESDAY- The Life of Praise
WEDNESDAY- A Witness Who Convicts
THURSDAY- A Weapon That Conquers
📌 What role does community praise have in the life of the Christian? How would you describe the praise in your Sabbath services? Is it uplifting? Does it encourage members to maintain faithfulness amid trial and trauma? If not, what can be done?
📌 What does it mean to “praise the Lord even when you fall into darkness” or to “praise Him even in temptation”? How can praise help us through these situations?
📌 Let members give testimonies on how praise has affected their lives. What can you learn from one another’s experiences?
📌 As a class, pick a psalm of praise and spend time reading it. What does it teach you about praise? What impact does praise have on your faith? – [email protected]