Christians ought to be greatly interested in praising God. It will be the primary activity of heaven (cf. Revelation 4:8-11), and it ought to be something that consumes our interests in this life. Mary, upon learning that she was to give birth to the Savior, said this: “He who is mighty has done great things for me (Luke 1:49).” True praise begins with true thankfulness. Let’s consider Mary’s statement as we resolve to give God praise:
God is powerful — Mary sang praises to God because of His power. We do not serve an idol made with human hands, but rather we are children of the living God. Our hope in Him is more than just wishful thinking — it is an earnest expectation that He will deliver on the promises He makes (1 Peter 1:3). What other god can make promises and keep them? Our God works through human history to accomplish His will, and yet He never interferes with us to the point that we cannot choose whether to serve Him (Joshua 24:15). What a mighty God we serve! No wonder the seraphim of heaven cannot keep from shouting, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts! The whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3)!” God’s promise to Mary was not yet fulfilled (cf. Luke 1:45), but Mary knew that God cannot lie (Titus 1:3). Praise Him because He is powerful enough to deliver.
God has done great things — Mary mentioned the past as a reason to praise God. His blessings have fallen on the world in the past, just as they do in the present. Everything good comes from God (James 1:17). The same God we serve is the same God who delivered millions of people from slavery, kept them alive in a desert for forty years, and helped them conquer a land He had promised to them four centuries earlier. We serve a God who created the universe with His unfathomable power (Psalm 19:1). Our God took a shepherd boy with a tender, honest, and courageous heart, and used him to slay a nine foot tall giant with an army behind him. God used an orphan named Esther to save His people from destruction. No doubt, Mary praised God because of what He had done for His people. The past is full of God’s mighty works; how we need to remember them!
God works in the lives of individuals — Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 is one of praise and gratitude. You see, Mary did not count herself deserving of the high honor God granted her (cf. Luke 1:48), and yet she realized that God was indeed doing great things for her. She alone was present at Jesus’ birth and His death. She knew Jesus better than almost anyone, and following His resurrection she saw the salvation He provided (cf. Acts 1-2). Though we may not live lives comparable to Mary, can any of us really say that God has not been active in our lives? His mighty deeds are not only done on behalf of others, they are done for us. Our relationship with God is personal, and through His Son’s blood we have direct access to His throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). Truly, all of us should realize what Mary said is true: “He who is mighty has done great things for me.” Let us all resolve to praise God for who He is, what He has done, and what He is doing on our behalf. To God be the glory!
— John Baker