Today, I choose to praise.

How many times have we waited till we can’t do it ourselves before we come and kneel before God? How many times do we have to cry out by ourselves before we cry out to God?Why does it take us so long before we draw near to God? Why do we have to burden ourselves with worries before we surrender it all to Him?

Have we ever tried praising Him in the midst of all the hurt and pain? In the song, “Even When it Hurts,” there’s a line there that says:

“Even when my strength is lost, I’ll praise You. Even when I have no song, I’ll praise You. Even when it’s hard to find the words louder then I’ll sing Your praise.”

Then it goes on to say:

“Even when the fight seems lost, I’ll praise You. Even when it hurts like hell, I’ll praise You. Even when it makes no sense to sing louder then I’ll sing Your praise.”

Have we tried this? Praising God despite our defeat?

Personally, that is one thing I thought I can never do. How can you thank God that you’re hurting? How can you praise Him when all seems not to be the way you think it would go? How can you remove all the worries and fears, then still praise Him?

Lately, my situation has been all sorts of turns and no matter what angle I look, I am just defeated by my fears and doubts. It’s so exhausting to try to do everything with your own might, you know! But one thing God keeps on reminding me is that everything is going to be okay because He has already taken care of it. I just have to trust Him.

“But, but…how, Lord? I can’t find joy in my situation much less praise You for something that I’m hurting.”

One thing God told me, “Surrender them all to me my child. You have been carrying so much weight on your shoulders when you know that my burden is light. Surrender it all to me.”

Then it hit me.

I’ve been doing it the wrong way all along. I’ve been looking at my situation from my perspective, not God’s. No wonder I was hurting myself more. I wasn’t trusting Him enough that He could redeem me from this situation. I was relying on myself and what my mind can perceive of what will happen. All  I have to do is to surrender everything!

As easy as that may sound, it wasn’t. It was a week of tug of war between God. Trusting Him one minute and then doubting the next. It was so exhausting! But once I understood that God is sovereign over all things, it wasn’t as hard as the first time. The moment I realize that I’m just a mere human without all understanding of God is about to do, it was easier to surrender it all to Him.

Sure, there has been doubt that creeps along the way but God keeps reminding me that He got this. He has taken care of it. All I have to do is praise Him in this situation even though I don’t understand what is going on. I have to choose to praise Him or else I’m going to be fed up with lies of doubt, fear and worry.

The moment I chose to praise Him is also the time where I experienced peace and joy through His presence. It was magnificent. It was a refreshing feeling. My heart is full of joy once I started to chose to praise Him.

Whatever your situation is right now, God is telling you that you have to stop doubting Him and start trusting Him. He is sovereign and you may not understand what is happening right now, there may be feeling of hurt, pain and betrayal, God is our redeemer. He will restore you with so much gladness in your heart that even in the midst of trial, you still can’t help but praise Him with so much joy!

Whatever is your struggles, surrender it all to Him. It may not be as easy as it is, but once you acknowledge that only God can bring you out of that pit, once you surrender every little thing of your life to Him, He will take care of it.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a]for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

You’ve got nothing to lose when you choose to praise Him right now. Instead, you will be filled up with His wonderful presence.

 

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Holding On to the Only Constant

God has yet reminded me again that nothing beautiful will come out of disobedience.

“How many times have I told you that things, when rushed not according to My plan, will become painful? I have tried to save you from the heartaches that will happen, but no, you continued to disobey. But, My child, do not be dismayed for I am the Lord your God, the greatest Love of all. If you seek Me first and allow me to mold you, I will give you the desires of your heart.”

I’ve been reading Isaiah for the past few days and I never realized that God was preparing me for this until now. God’s people disobeyed and disobeyed and rejected Him, but in the end, He was all but a loving and merciful Father.

Sometimes we get sidetracked by the things that seems “pleasurable” and things that looks nice in the outside because it may be coated by all the verses that we thought please God. Unfortunately, that’s not the point. The point is it should be something that He gave us. We may see things that looks pretty and nice but we have to discern which one is from God. And if we seek Him first in everything that we do, He will give us answers that may hurt us, but it will create in us a new heart.

Maybe God allows things to happen to break us and crush us because He wants to remind us that nothing in this world is worth holding on to. God is peeling the outer layer of our skin at the same time chiseling us to become the person He wants us to be. It’s never about us, anyway. People are temporary, even feelings are sometimes. They hurt you, they break promises, and they will continually fail you at all times. We have to always and keep coming back to the Person who will never let us go. God wants to remind us that He is the only faithful and constant in this world and that is worth holding on to.

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