These days, I find that the reason some people choose not to praise God is because of the material things that they do not possess. We ought to praise God, both in the good and bad times. Yes, it is easy to worship God when things are going our way, but what happens when things don’t go in the direction we want? We still have to praise. Why? Because we are told to be thankful at all times! 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What does praising God in bad times feel like? King David is one character that exemplifies what it means to praise God when things aren’t going our way.
In Psalm 6:6, King David tells God that he’s worn out from sobbing, flooding his bed with tears. We also find in other chapters in Psalms, where this experience is repeated. But despite all that, David always praised. He was still the man after ‘God’s own heart.’ I don’t know about you, but the relationship David had with God is what I crave, desperately. David was real, honest, and straightforward with God. He never tried to be “fake” with God the way some of us are with our fellow brothers and sisters. Was King David perfect? Far from that! He was no different from us. He had his moment just like us. He did some really terrible things just like us. What set him apart was his desire to always run back to God and change his ways.
Typically, when you’re head over heels in love with someone, you don’t really focus on their flaws. You focus on the good side of the individual. In the case of King David, he could have chosen to turn away from God because of how downcast he felt at some point, but instead of that, he chose to praise God for who He is. David chose to praise God in spite of his circumstances. Like David, we also have a choice to make. We can choose to either be hard on ourselves because we feel are not worthy to praise God, feel bad because we didn’t treat our neighbors well enough, or we can choose to focus on the goodness of God and not pay attention to our present circumstance. No matter what you might have done, no matter how unworthy you feel, you can be sure that God still values your praise. Feeling downcast is just one trick the devil tries to keep us from praising God.
I will admit and tell you that sometimes when I go through a difficult phase, I let my present circumstance cloud my judgment of who God is. But as soon as I start to remember his past goodness to me, I begin to praise. I’m not saying that your burdens will disappear right away, what I’m saying is that you’ll begin to see the weight of those burdens shift. You’ll be able to feel the joy and peace that God gives in the midst of that burden. As King David showed us, it is possible to praise God in the midst of trials and tribulations. At the end of the day, it is God that heals the distressed. Praising Him causes our hearts to be filled with the hope that God has got things under control.
I do not praise God for the things I have, or I don’t have, I praise Him for who He is. I am not rejoicing because things are going well for me, I am rejoicing because God is good. The things that are good today might turn out to be bad tomorrow, but guess who remains constant? That’s right- God! God is the only one who never changes. The fact that you have breath today, have clothes to wear, and have a roof over your head, should cause you to praise Him every day. There are people out there who do not have this privilege. Well, if you do not praise God, He said He’ll cause the stones to burst into cheers (Luke 19:40). If God decides not to do anything else for us, He has already done more than enough. Be grateful!
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