Saturday, January 19, 2008

Praise Him

Praise is a tricky thing sometimes. It's easy to praise God when things are going good, when things are going my way, when I feel secure in God's love and in His loving care. But there are those other times, when things aren't going so good... when we're waiting on Him and wondering when His answer will come, when we're going through a storm and crying out for help, when we feel alone and forsaken and forgotten... and yet His word tells us that EVEN THEN, we should praise Him.

There's a scene in the movie "Facing the Giants" where the coach is talking to his players, telling them about a new team philosophy they are going to enact. He stressed the importance of working hard, giving their all, playing their best for God and for themselves and for their team. But then the coach says something so contrary to anything the team had heard before, he said, "If we win, we will praise Him. And if we lose, we will praise Him." That mindset permeated every aspect of their lives from that moment on... both on and off the field.

In my life, I am pretty good about praising God when I win. But those times when I lose, praising God isn't always my first thought. No, I whine, or pout, or question the fairness of the situation, or even lash out at God in anger. And though He can handle those emotions from me, the very best response would be to praise Him for who He is and for what He is doing... even when I can't see it or don't understand it. Because He's God, and in the grand scheme of things, He doesn't owe me a thing. He's already given me FAR MORE than I could ever deserve, the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of my sins.

Praising Him in the hard times isn't easy and it isn't fun. It hurts sometimes. But it also directs our focus off of our situation and back onto the character of God... which NEVER changes. He is good all the time, and He works all things out for good for those who trust in Him. His will is always for our best. And I've got to trust that He sees the big picture, where I can only see in part right now.

So, today I sing to You, O God:

"I give You praise,
when the sun is shining.
I give You praise,
in the dark of night.
I give You praise,
when the battle cry rages.
I give You praise
'till it works out right!
Ah, the King is among us!
God lives here
In our praises!
Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him in everything!"
(Shout to the King, Hillsongs)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your very great encouragement to me

Smurph said...

I needed that. Love you sister!