Praise the Lord! How often do we say those words? Usually they spill from a heart overflowing with gratitude because God has shown himself strong for us. He’s done something amazing. Something we begged him to do. And he answered with an overwhelming yes! Of course we respond with praise.
In other circumstances, not so much. What about when he answers with a firm, heartbreaking no? What about when he delays and we see no answer at all?
Long ago in a conversation with my teenage daughter, we rejoiced together over a prayer God had answered just as we desired. I said, “God is good!” With more wisdom that I expected to come from her young years, she said, “God is good, whether he does what we ask or not.”
That’s a lesson I’ll never forget.
God is good. That is an indisputable fact. My circumstances don’t alter that fact. My unanswered prayers don’t leave that fact in question. God is good.God is good. That is an indisputable fact. My circumstances don’t alter that fact. My unanswered prayers don’t leave that fact in question. God is good. Click To Tweet
He is sovereign, and I can trust him always to do what’s best for me and those I love. I may not understand his dealings and delays. But I know he is good and I can trust him. That doesn’t mean I never struggle and groan.
In an old journal note, I poured out my soul. “Lord, I am focused on the impossibility of it all. I will focus on you. You have never failed me. I just can’t see how you can ever make this happen. All the years of sitting at your feet have taught me you have a purpose. Only you can make sense of my life. I will keep doing what I’ve done in the past—trusting you and following with my whole heart.”
Fact: God is always doing something bigger than we can see. And he has a way of making sure we know he did it. Unconditional praise for something yet unseen (but seen with eyes of faith) is an expression of my absolute confidence in God.God is always doing something bigger than we can see. And he has a way of making sure we know he did it. Unconditional praise for something yet unseen (but seen with eyes of faith) is an expression of my absolute confidence in… Click To Tweet
It’s easy to praise God for what is seen—present or past. It’s a tough thing to praise him for what is unseen—the future. Remind yourself of this: it is the promised future! When God makes a promise, I don’t have to see it fulfilled to believe it will happen just as he said. It’s a done deal.
Praise and trust are conjoined twins. We can praise God no matter what when we trust him unreservedly, though sometimes we praise and trust through tears.
Why wouldn’t we trust God? I can think of only one reason: we don’t know him well enough. I love this dialog between Moses and the Lord. That man knew God! And he trusted him. Moses said, “Show me your glory.” The Lord said, “Okay.” (Read about this exchange in Exodus 33:18-23).
Moses knew God well enough to trust him and to ask a favor. If only we knew him so well.
How would we develop that kind of relationship? By reading his Word, communicating with him in prayer, walking with him in obedience, and trusting him always—even the hard places.
When I find myself in a hard place, I run to Jesus and cry out, “Lord, I trust you for grace and rest with confidence that whatever you bring into my life is for my good and your greater glory!”
It’s all about the g-words. Your grace! My good! Your greater glory!
If I praise the Lord today, I praise him in my present circumstances.
Praise is the cure for grumbling, the cure for fear, the cure for discouragement. Praise is an ointment that cures all my spiritual maladies. Nothing declares my confidence in God like praising him in advance.
“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16 KJV).
“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth…Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” (Psalm 47:1, 6 NKJV).
© Dianne Barker 2020