When people hear of a positive medical report, a frequent phrase a Christian will say is something like, “Praise God!”
Someone gets a promotion? “Praise God!”
Restoration of a marriage? “Praise God!”
But what about when your world is “seemingly” crashing in around you? That “Praise God!” business can have the tendency to get thrown out the window.
When someone gets cancer, I normally do not hear “Praise God!”
When someone loses their job, I normally do not hear “Praise God!”
When someone is sitting in emotional pain, I normally do not hear “Praise God!”
We have been going through the Book of Psalms at church for the past month or so. A lot of David’s cries to God are not when everything is going great.
Psalm 102:1-2 says, Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you! Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!
When I read these verses, I hear a deep cry from David’s heart for answers. It almost even sounds demanding to me. But even in the midst of pain and suffering, David remembers that praise moves God regardless of circumstances.
Here was an example of that cry to God I experienced in the past week,
I have been working for the first time in several months for about the past month and was scheduled to receive my first paycheck.
I was so excited! Then payday came around and I got word that the company messed up my paycheck and may be another two weeks before I get paid. So that would be 5 plus weeks without getting a check!
Can you imagine my initial anger? I was furious! I let God have it! And in the midst of it God comforted me.
And I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Let’s find the golden nugget of wisdom in this situation.”
Quickly, I responded “Well I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck! No more of this!”
It was that red hot anger and cry to God that I needed to experience to say “Enough of this way of living!” And I offered God a sacrifice of praise in the midst of the situation.
And the next day I went into work holding no resentment against the company and actually blessing the company.
There is something about worshipping God in the midst of the storm that I cannot fully describe. I can cast all my worries on Him and focus on Him while it seems like everything is falling apart. (1 Peter 5:7)
And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is priceless to me and grows each time I offer that sacrifice of praise regardless of circumstances.
Challenge: Next time something goes wrong, I challenge you to praise God anyways. Shift your focus to Him. Your circumstance may not change, but your perspective will.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray that you teach every reader to offer that sacrifice of praise regardless of circumstances. Remind them that your goodness is not dependent on when only “good” things happen. That your goodness is when we our on the mountain with You or in the valley. I praise you God! And I ask this all in Jesus name. Amen.