Does it feel hypocritical for you to praise God when life is falling apart? I understand. During the most intense season of suffering in my life my mentor, LInda Dillow, suggested that I try praising God for twenty minutes a day for a week. Now, after yesterday’s discussion on empty cliches I must clarify. I asked Linda for her advice. She had already cried with me and empathized with me. During that season, I was walking through cancer, sexual abuse memories and the church my husband was pastoring was blowing up with division. Hate mail was coming to the house, people were criticizing my husband and starting rumors about us both. Truthfully, I didn’t know if I would survive the darkness of depression that blanketed my soul. Honestly, praising God felt a bit hypocritical. But, I decided to give it a shot – what did I have to lose? As I began to praise God early each morning, my faith in His goodness was rekindled and I began to feel His presence in ways I had never experienced before. It didn’t solve everything. In fact, non of my circumstances changed! But what it did was give me hope!
In the midst of Job’s awful trials, He declares, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, Yet in my body I will see God!” (Job 19:25-26) That word “know” intrigues me. Did job know with certainty? Where did his knowing come from? I think He made the choice to know, to trust, and to believe. By declaring that his redeemer lives Job is re-assuring himself and bolstering his faith. A redeemer is one who buys back all our pain. In other words, God takes the most painful pieces of our lives and buys them back to use for HIs glory. That’s why some say, “Out of your mess, comes your message.” That’s certainly been true in my life.
Friend, if you dare to praise God in your mess, the Holy Spirit bolsters your faith and you will find yourself believing the truth for which you are praising God. You don’t have to praise Him for your circumstances. You can choose to praise Him for who He is above your circumstances. Does that sound like an empty cliche? Try it – what do you have to loose?
If you would like to have a guide to praising God, you can now pre-order The 30 Day Praise Challenge scheduled to be released in August 2013. Go to the store page on my website and click on the picture of the book and it will connect you to http://www.amazon.com Each day of praise includes musical suggestions by various Christian artists to help prompt your praise. I’m so excited aboutt his book – it’s the book of my heart!~
Leave a comment and tell me if you have ever tried praising God in the midst of trials. How has learning to praise God changed your life?