About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16: 25
Praising God when difficulties arise is hard. Life leaves you feeling defeated and praise is the last thing you want to issue up. Complaints, pleading, prayers, and angry words come so much easier when things aren’t going well.
However, this is exactly the time when we should be praising. Not because we feel like it but because God is still deserving.
Read Acts 16: 16-40 and you’ll find the account of Paul and Silas in prison. Being imprisoned for freeing a girl from demonic possession seems like a good time to start complaining to God. It’s the time for my angry words to explain to Him why the present circumstances are terrible. It would be the time when I vent my frustration in letting ‘no good deed go unpunished.’
But Paul and Silas aren’t me. They didn’t complain or plead or anything else — they sang. Yes, they prayed but they didn’t linger in that time. They knew that God heard and they knew that He would work things out in His timing. In the meantime, they were going to sing.
We don’t have to be happy or even joyful about the circumstances that life throws at us but we shouldn’t wallow in them either. God is still good. Praise is not about us. Praise is about God. He is deserving of that praise even when we don’t feel like He is. He gives life and breath and He is weaving something beautiful.
Read Job 38, 39, 40, 41 and revel in the wonder and majesty of God. He is Holy and Amazing.
Praise is not about us. It’s not about making us feel good or even to break the chains that bind us.
It can accomplish those things but it is not for that purpose that we praise. We praise because He is God and He is full of wonders beyond our comprehension.
Psalm 104 is another passage that speaks of the astonishing works of our God. Read the beautiful words that David uses to praise God. Let them sink in and recall exactly why God is the only one deserving of our praises.
Today, if the trials and struggles of life are getting you down, offer up your prayers but don’t set up camp there. Let the people around you hear your songs just as the prisoners heard Paul and Silas’. Maybe, like me, the people around you don’t want to hear you actual singing voice but don’t let that stop your private songs. Or your other demonstrations of praise.
Let God hear your praises. Praise Him for the victories you’ve already seen. Praise Him for the victories that are still on the way. Praise Him for understanding your struggles. Praise Him for the beauty that He is making from the ashes of life. Praise Him because He is worthy.