Psalm 100:4—Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.
WHY do we have to endure uncertainty? That is a mystery, but the Bible hints at an answer when it gives a spiritual picture of a city called the community of the redeemed, or Zion (see Isa. 62). Isaiah 60:18 says, “But you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.” In Revelation we see this gate called praise again and discover that is made out of one solid pearl (see Rev. 21:21).
Think for a moment. How is a pearl formed? Through irritation and conflict. A granule of sand gets inside an oyster shell, and a pearl forms around the granule to keep it from doing harm.
The Bible’s pairing of praise with irritation is not coincidental. When we are stuck in conflict and uncertainty, and yet we praise Him without manipulation, it is a sacrifice. It means we are reacting in a way that produces something beautiful.
In that moment a gate is formed, a place of entrance where the King of glory can invade our situation.
Many people have no gate because they won’t praise Him in the middle of apparent paradox.
They get stuck wondering, “How can God promise to heal all of my diseases but I’ve got this problem in my body?”
“How can God promise to provide, and yet I’ve been without a job for three months?”
And yet Psalm 87:2 says, “The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”
That gate—that place of praise in the midst of conflict—is where His presence rests, where the King Himself dwells.
The gate is formed when we move above human explanation and into a place of trust.
When we are stuck in conflict and uncertainty, and yet we praise Him without manipulation, it is a sacrifice.