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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Surrender EVERYTHING.

When God says, “Surrender to me everything.” What does EVERYTHING mean to you? Is it all of you–your wants, your desires, your plans, your life? Or do we only surrender things we want God to control over our lives? What are those? Do you enumerate them? Do you choose which things you surrender to God?

If you do, maybe you need a heart check. Who or what is reigning over it?

When God tells us to surrender everything, He means E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Our wants, our desires, our plans, our schedules, our future, our past. In short, our lives. He doesn’t want us to surrender them to Him because He wants to make us His puppets, but He wants us to surrender EVERYTHING to Him because He wants us to know that He is Lord of all things in this universe. Of course, as long we willingly give our lives to Him. Once we’ve decided that we want the Lord to take control over our lives, He is sooooo delighted in us. God doesn’t want us to surrender to Him just because He says so. He gives us freewill over this and He wants us to experience His unending grace and love to us.

This is what the Lord says–your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 48:17

God loves us sooooo much that He only wants what’s the best for us. He doesn’t want us to go to the path of the wicked, for He knows how awful it is there. He just wants us to keep holding on to Him and trusting Him with His promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us no matter how sometimes we tend to disobey. And even though sometimes we go the other way, He never fails to extend His love and mercy to us.

I am the Lord, there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Isaiah 45:5-6

His mercies just endure forever and ever and ever. And ever.

But  you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses. I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 43:24b-25

Even though we are the ones who have sinned against Him, He is still extending this mercy to us.

Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.

Isaiah 46:12-13a

All God is asking is for us to surrender our lives to Him. All of it and in it. If we acknowledge in our hearts and minds that He is Lord of all, then it wouldn’t be so hard to surrender EVERYTHING to Him. Once we do this, we are able to humble ourselves and tell God that in all the things that we do, we are giving Him control over everything. Otherwise, if we are not able to surrender all that we are and all that we have to Him, maybe He is not Lord over our lives at all.

Let’s check our hearts. Whatever or whoever is reigning in your hearts right now, God is telling you to surrender it/them to Him and He will grant you all the “…new things, of hidden things unknown to you.” Isaiah 48:6. God should be the One and Only sitting in the throne of our hearts. If not, maybe the one sitting there should be surrendered to Him.

And then, I leave you with thing song with heart-striking message:

No one else in this world will do. I’m captured by Your love and Your truth.

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