It’s easy to praise God with our whole hearts when things are going great in life. It’s easy to praise Him when we see Him answer prayers or see Him at work in our lives. It’s easy to open up our mouths and belt out our praise when we are in church on Sunday and we feel the presence of God. When things are going great, we eagerly share with other all that God is doing in our lives. The joy that we feel, we want to spread and share with others.
But when it’s time to get up and go to work or school on Monday….the praises probably are as quick to rise up from our hearts and push past our lips. What about the times when life gets messy or God seems silent? Do we praise Him then, or grumble and complain? Maybe we praise Him with words, but it isn’t quite heartfelt. We put on a smile at church, pretend everything is ok and the praises we sing come from our lips, but the heart just doesn’t sing along. It’s difficult to praise God in the storms of life or the times there are unanswered questions. Satan tries to sneak in, steal our joy, and attempts to make us think God doesn’t hear our prayer or care about our problems. He tries to make us think that the things we do for God doesn’t matter and it doesn’t make a difference.
Psalm 9:1-2 says, “I will praise, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name. O thou most high.” God doesn’t need our praise. In Luke 19:40 Jesus said, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” In Psalm 66:4, the psalmist wrote, “All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” In Psalm 19:1, he wrote, “the heavens declare the glory of God.”
Our praise to God, is an acknowledgement of what He has done for us. The word praise means, “to say good things about” (Webster). When we praise God, we are admiring, honoring, and worshipping Him through the joyful thanksgiving and adoration of God as we celebrate His goodness to us and His grace. But how do we do that when it seems like our world is falling apart or we’ve been waiting on God and getting anxious for Him to do something?
When we praise God, even in the hard times, we demonstrate our trust in Him. A trust that knows without any doubt that God has a plan for us … and it’s a good plan, even if we can’t see the goodness in it right now. We can believe in His promise that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) When we trust Him, we can know that God will work everything out. I know there are times when I let God know that anytime He’s ready is good for me…but I also need to remember that in the times that it’s difficult to praise God is often the times He is growing me, refining me, to make me more like Christ. Sometimes, it’s in these times, that I learn something new about God or a new facet of His love for me. And I can praise Him for that too.
In the moments that Satan attempts to fill my head and heart with doubts and when I find it hard to praise God with my whole heart, I try to focus on who He is and that alone is enough reason to praise Him. Don Moen wrote it best in a musical entitled, God For Us. Read the words below and let them speak to your heart and you’ll soon be praising God with your whole heart. (You can also listen along in the recorded performance here.)
You Can Trust Him by Don Moen
My friend, you can trust God today.
He is good and He is good all the time.
But as you focus on His goodness, don’t miss His greatness.
He is unparalleled and unprecedented.
He is the centerpiece of civilization.
He is the superlative of all excellence.
He is the sum of human greatness.
He is the source of divine grace.
His name is the only one able to save
And His blood is the only power able to cleanse.
His ears open to the sinners call
His hand is quick to lift a fallen soul
He is the eternal lover of us all … Everyone,
And you can trust Him.
He supplies mercy for the struggling soul
He sustains the tempted and the tried
He sympathizes with the wounded and broken
He strengthens the weak, and the weary
He guards and He guides the wanderer
He heals the sick and cleanses the leper
He delivers the captives and defends the helpless
and He binds up the broken hearted
He’s for you and you can trust Him
Jesus is the key to all knowledge
He is the wellspring of wisdom
He is the door way of deliverance
and He is the path way of peace
He is the roadway of righteousness
He is the highway of holiness
He is the gateway to glory
And yes you can trust Him
Jesus is enough
He’s the all sufficient King
He’s the King of Jews
He’s the King of Israel
He’s the King of Righteousness
and He’s the King of the Ages
He’s the King of Heaven
He’s the King of glory
He’s the King of kings
And he’s the Lord of lords
And yes again you can trust Him
And rejoice in this my friend
He is a sovereign King
There is no gauge to measure His limitless love
There is no barrier to block His blessings outpoured
He’s enduringly strong
And He’s entirely supreme
He’s internally steadfast
He’s immortally faithful
He’s imperially powerful
And He’s impartially merciful
He is Jesus, God’s Son and you can trust Him
I wish I could more accurately describe Him to you
But He’s indescribable
You can’t out live Him and you can’t live without Him
The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him
But they found they couldn’t stop Him
Pilate couldn’t fault Him
Herod couldn’t kill Him
Death couldn’t conquer Him
And the grave couldn’t hold Him
My friends He’s the Alpha and Omega
The first and the last
He’s the God of the future and the God of the past
And we rise to speak His name again and again
He is Jesus!
He is for us!
And we can trust Him!