Psalm 115: Happy Camper vs. Dead Men Don’t Praise

Psalm 115 and today’s obituary have something in common. They both mention the dead. My days to be a “happy camper” are growing less. It’s simple. Either I praise God in my life on this earth or I don’t. If I’m still sucking oxygen, then TODAY is the right time to wrestle with my tough times and give voice to words of thanks and praise to God. Of course, if I wake up in heaven, then I can praise Him there, too. However, the opportunity to praise Him in hardships is now, because according to Psalm 115 verse 17, dead man can’t praise God on this earth.

So what? Why should anyone struggle to praise God when life is hard?

Guess what?

You don’t have to do it, and no one should force you.

Praising is a choice.

However, you should consider the alternative.

Don’t bother praising God if you LIKE the feeling of wondering if God hears or loves you, or you enjoy carrying the weight of your world on your shoulders.

Don’t praise God if you PREFER feeling powerless, distrusting, joy-less, and peace-less.

In case you DO want to consider the benefits for praising God in difficult circumstances, I’ll practice my own praise advice and give you a list all the positive reasons I know.

(Please add your own praise “findings” to the list, and send them as a comment to benefit all of us.)

Because of the teaching in the Bible. I know…

Praise pleases God.

God hears praise.

Praise reminds us of God’s ability.

Praise reminds us of the NEED we have for God and His ability, which releases us from the entrapment of being solely self-dependent. We get a trust boost when we go through the process of praising!

Praise can point others to God.

In addition to the Bible teachings about giving praise to God, I have found the following to be true from my own experience.

By expressing praise to God, I begin to feel joy and peace.

My feelings of joy and peace have a positive physical reaction on my brain and body. Praise seems to be potent.

The odd thing about Psalm 115 is that it is believed to have been written when God’s people were few in number and powerless. They were a remnant returned from Babylonian captivity.

It seems that the perfect occasion to praise God, according to this Psalm and many other Bible stories, is when we ARE powerless on this earth.

Psalm 115:16-18

The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of men.

The dead praise not the Lord, neither any who go down in silence.

But we will bless, affectionately and gratefully praise the Lord from this time forth and forever more. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!


If you are like me and find yourself in those days when the camping ain’t happy, then raise the banner of praise and see WHO comes knocking on your tent door. I bet we’ll be surprised!

God IS good. ALL the time.

My Prayer

Praise to You God for Your mercy, power, and grace. Help me rise above my circumstances. I confess my crankiness is often excessive and my worries and fears obese. Lead me to sources of Your Praise, Joy, and Peace and let me stand serene in Your power come hell or high water. Amen.


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