Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Difficulty in Praising Him

Difficulty in Praising Him 

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:26 

Praise is greatly honoring to God! In the Old Testament account of King Jehoshaphat, God's people faced a seemingly insurmountable enemy who was determined to destroy them. Yet God assured them that they would “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (2 Chron. 20:17). The people of Judah believed God. Their army was led by singers, offering praises to the Lord for their promised victory, and the victory came. When King David led the procession bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem, he praised God with all of his strength (2 Sam. 6:12–23). David's praise was pleasing to God, and God's powerful presence remained in David's kingdom to give him victory against every enemy. Jesus was about to go to Gethsemane and to the cross, where God's greatest victory would be accomplished. He led His disciples to sing a hymn. The disciples were all about to fail Him, and Jesus was about to be cruelly executed, yet Jesus insisted that they praise God. Their praise looked beyond the cross to God's ultimate victory. Praise is rooted not in circumstances of the moment but in the nature and trustworthiness of God. You ought to rejoice when God asks you to proceed in the work of His kingdom because you know the victory is already secured. Don’t focus on the problems and failures of others. Focus on God's assurance of victory. If you have trouble praising God with a song in your heart as you serve Him, it may be that your focus is not on God, but on your circumstances. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Day by day we, as God allows and permits, live life in this world.  Day by day, hour by hour we do what we do.  Choice stands before us continually.  This morning, not unlike any others before it, choice demands my attention.  Do this, or do that. Think this, or think that. There's no peace at times all because of the noise of choice. 

Life gives you lemons, you're told to make lemonade.  You either enjoy what is before you or you don't.  Choice. 

After the known fact that Judas caved in to the will of Satan, fulfilling Scripture, he wasted no time in satisfying himself to fill his greed.  Choice.  How can it be choice if Scripture said he would do it?  The certainty of Scripture doesn't negate choice.  The Scriptures cannot be broken. The living Word of God knew what was meant by every single word that was written.  It's up to each of us to ask and learn. 

All too often we want to throw in the towel when it seems that God either isn't listening or isn't going to grant us what we are wanting. 

I have of late been going through some really difficult times, at least they are difficult to me.  Changes that I am certain I didn't ask for in prayer, yet the change is wrought from God.  It yet could be shown to me when I see Jesus face to face that He shows me where I had asked for something in prayer and this difficult road was the only way to make it happen. 

Difficulties in understanding are always on us.  Never on the part of Jesus.  Difficulties in praising Him in the difficult times is on us.  Praise almost never ends in Heaven. 

We struggle often with not understanding why.  Then we choose how to react to it.  Jesus chose to sing hymns after Judas's betrayal.  In prison Peter and another chose to praise God in song while in chains hanging on a wall.  

It's easy to show up at a Church to sing praises. It's on us to praise God in the storm. 

We think in our feeble minds that our prayers are simple.  We never consider that our prayers are among trillions offered up to Jesus. That He works all those trillions of prayers towards one thing.  The fulfillment of Scripture. 

Would I like to see mankind get along, to see war, disease, famine eradicated as all those wonderous science fiction stories talk about?  Who wouldn't?  The truth is living in utopia wouldn't keep the evils of sin at bay. The truth is sin is always at the doorstep. Right there with Choice. 

We may not hear or see an answer to prayer that agrees with us, but that should never stop our praise to God.  We gave up our rights to our life our way when we came to Christ to be saved.  We are to be living Disciples. In training to become like Christ. Quite often the 12 Disciples were rebuffed and rebuked for wrong thinking.  They were on a path of learning how to think God's way, not their way. 

So if difficulties are grabbing you today, praise God anyway.  Choice is there before you.  What will you do with it today?

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