Monday, December 30, 2013

But God, I Don't Feel Like Praising!

In October , it had been six months since my husband found out he was being laid off.  Six months of looking, sending out resumes, and interviews and still nothing secured.   Thankfully, he was given a severance package that went through the end of October.   But now it was the third week in October and still nothing was certain. 

Fear began to grip my heart.  I thought to myself, “God knows we have three kids in private school.  He knows we have a mortgage.  God knows all of our needs.  I know He is always faithful and always on time.”  But, I have to admit I thought He was cutting it awfully close this time.  I knew His Word said to be anxious for nothing and for all six months, I had trusted Him to come through and was filled with faith.  However, fear began to creep in as the days grew closer.

When I went to church that crisp October morning, I didn’t feel like singing and I didn’t feel like praising.  Darkness loomed over me.  I just wanted to cry and bury myself in pity.  However, as the music started, I felt a tug at my heart.  “Offer a sacrifice of praise.”

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, this is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”  Hebrews 13:15

As I sang not only with my lips, but with my heart giving praise to God for all He has done and all His goodness and glory, a strange phenomenon occurred—the darkness began to disappear, my heart became lighter and joy began to fill me.
“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.”  2 Chronicles 20:22

Praising pushes back the darkness and allows God to move against the enemy on our behalf.
After offering up my sacrifice of praise, I went down to the alter for prayer.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known unto God and the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

During prayer, I immediately felt at peace and a knowing that God was taking care of everything concerning me.  That week, my husband was presented an offer.  His severance ended October 31 and his contract was finalized November 1 and he started November 4th.  Praise be to God!

But, I wonder…What if I hadn’t offered up the sacrifice of praise?  What if I had continued instead to wallow in self-pity and given myself over to fear?  What if I had chosen not to focus on the Lord’s  goodness and faithfulness that morning?  What if the darkness had not been pushed back by praise? What if I would have allowed worry to overshadow my worship?

I don’t have all the answers to those questions, but I do know that something happens in the spiritual realm when we choose to worship even when our flesh wants to wallow.  

When we praise in the midst of trials, we are declaring our trust and faith in God.  Trust and worship go hand in hand.  I don't know what you have been facing.  It may seem insurmountable, but it is nothing compared to the greatness of our God.  Trust Him.  Praise Him.  The darkness will lift, joy will enter and He will move mountains for you.  

Power Verses:  

Isaiah 61:3a "To grant to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit."   

2 Samuel 22:29-31 "For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall.  As for God, His way is perfect.  The word of the Lord is proven.  He is a shield to all who trust in Him." 

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