GCC Blog

When morning gilds the skies by Miles Simmonds

“When morning gilds the skies, my heart awaking cries ‘May Jesus Christ be praised!’” 


These were the words that sprang into my mind early one morning as I stood in my kitchen making coffee. I watched outside the window while the sun rose piercing the half-light with an increasingly captivating golden glow that eventually grew in intensity to become so all-consuming it bathed everything beneath the skies. Including me.


As I dug out my old Redemption Hymnal and turned up this wonderful hymn from the early 1800’s, I reflected on the words as an encouragement to praise God in every set of circumstances.


Like you, my emotions can be affected by the circumstances in which I find myself – some circumstances make me feel good, while others can make me feel less good. It’s important for us to acknowledge that while this can be our experience, our circumstances have no bearing on who God is, and therefore they also don’t have any bearing on His praise-worthiness. If I have a bad day, it may well mean I don’t feel like praising God – but it certainly doesn’t mean He’s undeserving of praise.


So, I thought I’d use this blog to reflect from Psalms on why God is worthy of praise. This obviously isn’t a comprehensive Bible study of this topic – just a few simple reflections.


The Psalms encourage us to “praise Him for His mighty works, praise Him for His unequalled greatness” (Ps 150:2 NLT).  What are His mighty works?  Creation and Salvation are two massive works, and a great place to start.  God has created the entire universe – everything from galaxies of billions of stars and planets down to the tiniest subatomic particles, and everything in between!  And how did He do it?  By commanding it into existence!  No wonder the Bible talks about how His voice shakes the earth! He’s also the one who has saved us: saved from our own worst influences, saved from an eternity of separation from Him, saved into a loving relationship with Him as His dearly loved children, and saved into a secure future here on the earth and into eternity. What a mighty and wonderfully generous Father in heaven!


The Psalms also talk about praising Him for all that He has promised (Ps 56:4) –

so, what has He promised?

  • He will never leave us or forsake us - so He will be with us in every situation
  • He loves us with an everlasting love
  • He puts the lonely in families
  • He doesn’t count our sins against us or treat us as they deserve
  • He has plans for us – to bless us and give us a hope and future
  • He daily carries us in His arms
  • He hears and answers our prayers
  • He knows all about our sorrows and challenges as He collects and counts our tears
  • He won’t let us be tempted or tested beyond what we can bear

And many more blessings besides... 

How blessed we are; how worthy of praise He is!

Finally, the Psalms also encourage us to rejoice in His presence (Ps 68:4) – so where is that?  One of God’s characteristics is that He is omnipresent – in other words He is everywhere. So, we are to rejoice everywhere! As the psalmist says “where can I go from your presence…” wherever I go “…you are there.” (Ps 139:7-12)


An interesting thing happens when we lift our eyes off our circumstances and instead invest time into gazing at God: our perspective changes and we find faith, peace, and joy stirring in our hearts; we become aware of His love and we find our circumstances being brought into perspective, becoming smaller than Him. How He blesses us!


During this incredibly unusual season that we are in, let me encourage you to lift your eyes to God. Know that He is in control so also lift your voice to Him; sing to Him; pray to Him; cry out to Him; acknowledge His greatness because it will fuel your faith.


Here’s the words of that wonderful hymn that stirred in my heart early one morning recently.  I hope the words bless you and that you can find yourself with the psalmist saying “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Ps 34:1)



When morning gilds the skies, my heart awaking cries “may Jesus Christ be praised!”
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”


When sleep her balm denies, my silent spirit sighs “may Jesus Christ be praised!”
When evil thoughts molest, with this I shield my breast: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”


Does sadness fill my mind, a solace here I find: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”
Or fades my earthly bliss, my comfort still is this: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”


To God, the Word on high, the hosts of angels cry: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”
Let mortals too upraise, their voice in hymns of praise: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”


Let earth’s wide circle round, in joyful notes resound “may Jesus Christ be praised!”
Let air and sea and sky, from depth to height reply “may Jesus Christ be praised!”


Be this while life is mine, my canticle divine: “may Jesus Christ be praised!”
Be this the eternal song through all the ages on “may Jesus Christ be praised!”