Your focus is what will direct your thoughts. Your focus is what will lead your thought to the next thought and then to the next thought and so on.
When God tells us to praise Him He's trying to help us get the focus of our thoughts going in the right direction. When we are praising Him, focusing on Him this is what will happen. He doesn't tell us to do this for Him, but for us.
For when we focus on something smaller (like ourselves or other people) that person/thing/stresser/situation grows to god-like proportions in our brains. If it is something we wish were different it will discourage us. If it is something we are excited about it will take us over.
This morning I was reading some of the stuff I've written lately -- the writing project that was about memories. It isn't very good. There are a few lines that are pretty good, but that's it. It kind of bummed me out. This led to me focusing on me and the stuff in my life and I started getting more bummed out. If I can't write good stuff, I really don't have another skill I can fall back on. I'm a writer, good or bad, I'm a writer. And then I started thinking about everything in my life -- about how it's all about kids or other people or just existing and I thought what is the point (see how this wrong focus led me?).
God is a God of mercy! He cut through and reminded me it isn't about me. He reminded me to put Him as my focus and everything else in my life would line up the way it all needs to line up. So, that's what I'm going to do today.
What about you?
"Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones: Praise is becoming to the upright." Psalm 33:1