Welcome to week one of 31 Days of Praise! If you are new, you will receive weekly devotional teachings to go with our Embrace the Word reading and writing plan. Next week, along with the weekly teaching, look for a FREE printable 7 day Bible study on Psalm 34 entitled “The God Who Rescues.”
Let’s jump in!
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Psalm 33:1
One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen is a child of God who knows how to praise Him through the storms of life. I remember watching a dear woman of God, at her husband’s funeral, lift her hands and give God praise.
I have seen many praise God at the homegoing of a loved one before, but this was different. Just a year prior, she lost her son, the second child she’d lost to death.
Through all of this, amid her own health crisis, she still praised God. The tears still fell, her pain still undeniable. But God’s worth was unquestionable to her even in those agonizing moments, so praise was still due!
Why We Should Praise God Through the Storm
Pain is real, but it’s only temporary.
Sweet friend, I know that pain is real. Your tears are valid. In a storm, praise doesn’t always feel logical. Please know that praise is always logical from the children of God. Even in hard times, we must keep eternity in view.
The trials we have in this life are only temporary. Even though he experienced incredible hardships, Paul considered what he went through to be “light afflictions” (2 Corinthians 4:17). These words are not meant to trivialize the storm you may be experiencing. But they should encourage you to press on through the hurt because you know the momentary pains of this life are preparing you for an eternal glory that does not compare to anything you’ve ever experienced. Oh, what a reason to rejoice, even in the storm, because we know that troubles don’t last always. We have the promise of Eternal life with God forever!
The storm may be fierce, but God is working.
My son used to be afraid of thunderstorms. The older people in his life would try to soothe his fears by telling him, “When the storm is raging, God is working.” This was just an expression said in an attempt to comfort his fears, but there is a powerful lesson here.
When storms rage in your life, you, too, should know that God is working! God is not the source of pain in our lives, but He does lovingly allow things to come that help us grow. James 1:2-4 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
When we patiently endure the storms we face, we will mature in faith, become complete in Him, and will lack nothing. Paul admonished us to rejoice, telling us that “we also celebrate in our tribulations” because tribulation produces patience. Patience produces godly character. Godly character produces hope in God’s promises (Romans 5:3-5!) Do you see what happens inside you when you endure the hard things in life?
That’s how God works! He takes the good and the bad and works it all for our good! Only a marvelous God can do that! So even when the rain beats down and the thunder rolls, we praise God because we know He is working in our lives!
When we praise God, we draw near to Him, and He draws near to us.
God is omnipresent! We know Him as Jehovah Shammah; He is always there. But when we are heartbroken, hurt, and distressed, we tend to feel His presence much more tangibly. We feel His comfort, His healing presence.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18
The presence of God can be felt more palpably when we are brokenhearted. God shows us that He cares with His nearness. He is not far off when we are hurting. He steps down into our heartbreaking situations to comfort us. The nearness of His presence is refreshing and comforting. It’s what we need most in seasons of crushing. When we draw near to God, He draws nearer to us (James 4:8). He makes His home in our praises (Psalm 22:3). When we draw near to God through praise, worship, and prayer, He is right there!
Praise Can Save Your Life!
“Praise saved my life!” I can attest to the truth of this statement. In my own experience, suffering from depression and anxiety, praise has been a vehicle to healing and wholeness.
When I learned to praise God through the storms in my life, even though the situation didn’t change, I changed! I could look at and acknowledge the temporal nature of a desperate situation rather than believing that the problem would never end. I could sing songs of praise because I knew that every hard thing, every pain, every hurt, and everything meant to kill me is filtered through the hands of my loving Father.
When filtered through His hands, the hard things cannot destroy you. Paul knew this to be true, too! He wrote, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed!” (2 Corinthians 4:8b-9). The enemy designed affliction to make you discouraged. The pain you feel is designed to make you quit. That hard blow was designed with every intention of completely taking you out! But God!
Our problems don’t immediately disappear when we praise, but praise helps us shift our gaze from our problems to God. When we fix our eyes on God, the difficulties of this life begin to dim.
When praise pours out of our mouths, our posture changes. Instead of a head hung down, our heads can be lifted above every enemy (Psalm 27:6). Instead of slumped shoulders, we can have uplifted hands. You may have been knocked to your knees by the storm you faced, but cry out to God from your knees. Lift up praise, and then He will lift you up! Praise is not an umbrella that shields us from the winds and rains. Praise is the life raft that rescues us from the flood.
- How do the storms in your life affect you?
- How can you change the way you respond to life’s storms?
- What benefits are there of learning how to praise God in a storm?
- How does praising God during hard times change how the storm affects you?
- How can you grow in the Lord even through the storm?
Thank you for being with me through every storm. I know that You don’t leave me alone. Father, I must confess that this trial seems difficult, overwhelming, and sometimes unbearable, but I know You are in control. There is nothing that happens that is not filtered through Your loving hands. You watch over me to comfort me and bring me life. Father, I praise You because, during the storm, You are always there.
In Jesus’ name,
It is always appropriate, fitting, and oh so beautiful for us to praise our Father.
Praise God today for His nearness.
Thank Him for the work He is doing in your life.
Lift your hand to your Father and thank Him for the opportunity to praise His holy name! Praise saves lives!