Intimidated by Praise

When I was little I was often intimidated by people singing in churches and gathering together praising God like it was nobody’s business. I didn’t know it at the time, but deep down I felt that these people were telling me, “God is so good to us and that’s why we’re happy. We’ve got our whole spiritual lives figured out and you should, too.”

But years later, when I found myself in the supposed situation of having my own spiritual life “figured out,” I realized the praise and glorification of God didn’t exclusively spring from deep and untroubled understanding; it was in spite of – and even because of – deep and troubled circumstance.

If you look around you and see people praying in their churches looking as though everything is fine and dandy, let me remind you: nothing is fine and dandy as long as we’re living in this cursed world. There will always be one or two things bothering the person next to you. And if that person happens to be looking heavenward, it’s because it helps us to remind ourselves that God is bigger than our problems. A shout for help isn’t always a cry of pain; sometimes it is a hymn of praise. Our forgetful souls need constant reaffirmation that our heavenly Father is sovereign above all things.

Psalm 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,  my salvation.