The unexpected pandemic curveball

When was the last time you praised God out of the very depths of your soul? Have been able to find reasons to praise Him through the past year of this pandemic virus? Certainly this Coronavirus has been an unexpected and unwelcomed turn of events. It has required us to adapt to ever changing circumstances, face new fears, and learn how to do life differently. Every time the news comes out, the number of infected rise and the number of those who have died rise.

So how do we praise and magnify God in such a time? Or how do we give him the praise worthy of him whenever life pitches a curveball our way? It really depends on where our focus is. If we focus on the unexpected problem, we’ll become discouraged, fearful, or depressed. But when our focus is on the God of our Salvation, we can praise Him for His goodness, even in the unexpected.

Mary’s praise at some unexpected news

Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. A young, unwed teen who would become pregnant and have to explain to family, friends, relatives, and her fiancé’ that the child she carried was placed within her by God and that she was still a virgin. We see her total surrender and obedience to God’s plan in Luke 1:39 when Mary says to the angel, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Surely the cost of her obedience went through her mind. Perhaps she wondered what it would cost her unborn child as he grew up with the whispered comments behind his back about who his father was.

The Bible does not tell us what went through Mary’s mind as the angel revealed God’s plan to her. Only that she surrendered to God, no matter the cost, and she gave all the praise and glory to God. The day the angel appeared to Mary was just as unexpected as the Coronavirus. But yet, Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and she rejoiced in God. Her song of praise is recorded in Luke 1 and can be our example for when our unexpected moments occur.

Cultivating a heart of genuine praise

It is easy when the curveball of life flies at top speed toward us to panic, feel overwhelmed, or lost in the chaos. But if we purposefully cultivate a heart of genuine praise, then we will be able to praise God in the unexpected moments of life – even when those moments are scary, difficult, unwanted, or sorrowful. When we take the time to just sit and meditate on all the God has done for us and how He provides and meets our needs each and every day, our first response should be a heartfelt, genuine praise.

From Christ’s finished work on the cross that provides our salvation, to God’s mercies that are new every morning, for his provision to meet our financial needs, for healing, for seeing us through a difficult time, for peace, for comfort, for never leaving us – every single aspect of our life should be offered back to Him as a worship of praise for His greatness and love. As we focus on these things, we see the fingerprints of God all over our lives and we experience Him in a real and personal way that results in our soul magnifying the Lord.

Take some time today to meditate on God’s goodness to you and spend some time praising Him from the very depths of your soul. Start with reading the entirety of Mary’s praise in Luke 1:46-55. Then think back through the last year and write down the times that God has seen you through your unexpected moments in life. Now, write our your own song of praise to the Lord who is worthy of all our praises. Let this song by the Prestonwood Church choir help you praise and magnify God today.

Father, we magnify you today for your greatness and love.  We praise you, we lift you up. We honor you. You are worthy of all our praises. You are Holy, Righteous, Rock of Ages, Most High, Promise Keeper, Shepherd, Faithful, Savior, my Strong Tower, Comforter, Mighty Warrior, Great Jehovah, Victor, Helper, Redeemer, Sovereign Master, Creator, Healer, Excellent, Incredible, Omnipotent, and Infallible. 

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God instructed the Israelite priests to pray the prayer of blessing every day over the people. The prayer is found in Numbers 6:24-26. Hang the canvass in your home or carry the mug, tote bag, or water bottle and let the prayer of blessing impact all those who you meet throughout the day.

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