“I will praise You in this storm…”
I’ve made that choice many times. I have stood at the edge of the storm and decided that “I will praise God even here.”
But the will and the follow-through do not always go hand-in-hand.
Paul said it best, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 5:17 ESV)
As the storm crashes around me I cannot see an end to the destructive wind, I don’t praise God. I don’t look to Him, I don’t even ask why. I just watch the weather around me. I may even consult a close friend almost like we consult meteorologists. “When will the weather get better?”
Sometimes I say pretty things. Truths that I know are true, but ring hollow in my ears.
“God has good plans.” He does.
“God will work this all out for my good and His glory.” He will for those who are called.
“There is good coming, I have heaven to hope for.” He promises to prepare a place for us.
And the storm still rages and people I have no control over make poor choices, heart-breaking choices. Then my sinful choices add to the tumult. I feed the storm. Still I don’t still myself to praise God. Don’t get me wrong. There is a whole book in the Bible called Lamentations, many of the Psalms were out of heart-break and ask God why. It isn’t wrong to go there to deal with the dark and difficult in life, but there in those dark difficult moments we need to praise God.
Thank Him for who He is and what He has done and is doing though we do not see how He can bring good out of the storm.
Praise Him that He loves us enough to send His Son to die that we may live in right, healthy relationship to Him.
Praise Him that He will have justice (either the sins of the world will be covered by the blood of Jesus or judged by a Righteous God).
Praise Him that all things are possible with Him, and trust Him that His way is best like Jesus did in the Garden.
Sing praises. Pray praises. Say praises.
Thank Him for life, breath, health, family, etc.
One practical way I plan to incorporate praise in my daily life is to read a Psalm every day and praise it, pray it, confess it back to God.
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
Father God, Thank You for blessing those who walk with You in uprightness. Forgive me for the times I walk in wicked counsel, stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers.
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Oh God, Your law and Word are marvelous and worthy of delight. I confess I do not delight in Your Word nor do I meditate on it as I should. Help me to delight in Your Word and keep it in my heart and mind all day long.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
Thank You Lord that you bless those who love You and bring You glory. I confess that sometimes I feel like Job and wonder why evil people seem to prosper. Lord help me to trust Your ways. Help me to sink deep roots into Your Word that I may be a tree that prospers eternally even if it doesn’t look like prospering this side of heaven.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Father God I praise You that You are a God of justice and that even if it looks like the wicked prevail, You will have eternal justice. I trust Your justice and Your ways. Show me when and how I need to stand up for justice on earth that I may help the widow, orphan, poor, and needy.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Lord I praise You for your justice and grace. Thank You that through Jesus I, a sinner, stand in the congregation of the righteous on the basis of Jesus’ righteousness, not my own. Help me to keep to the way of the righteous. Amen.
Will you join me in praising God in every circumstance?