Praise in difficult times
‘I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise will ever be on my lips’ – Psalm 34:1
But what if I’ve been led into a difficult situation?
This last month has not been my favourite; and that is one of the biggest understatements I’ve ever said and I daresay there are others who would feel the same!
Praise is like a muscle the more you work it, the stronger it becomes. In the last few weeks I have not had a lot of praise left in my tank to offer. What I have had felt very feeble and very weak.
Maybe you’ve lost work or been furloughed? Had to stay or leave to un-ideal living situations? Maybe you’re unwell? There is a long list of things that might be ‘wrong’ for you in this moment.
Yet God calls us to ‘bless him’ all the time.
The verse really struck me, and I was left baffled but deeply wanting to offer my praise to him, My God. But how? I’ve had so little of myself to offer to him over this last month. One writer helpfully explains that to ‘bless God’ isn’t really about us offering something to God; it simply means blessing God “in the sense of acknowledging his blessings and praising his wonderful deeds”.
AlI I could think to do was verbally state the verse; ‘I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise will ever be on my lips.’ And I said it over and over and over until I felt a deep peace and release come over me. I felt the “peace which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). It was not simple to get out; the first time I verbalised it, it felt like concrete trying to say it, but it became easier, and it has remained easier over this last week.
Praise is like a muscle, and so, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise will ever be on my lips’. Whatever we face, may we always praise the Lord!
By Sophie Annesley
Dear Father God, thank you that you are praise-worthy. Please help me praise you when things go wrong, when I feel weak and feeble. Amen.