When things are going good in our lives and everything seems to be in our favour it’s easy to praise God and thank him for his goodness and faithfulness towards us. But what about when we find ourselves in the middle of struggles and hardships… is praise still our first response?
Generally not… it’s not our natural reaction.
Often when we go through hard times it is much more difficult to keep our focus. We are easily distracted, and we tend to get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the chaos of the circumstances around us and emotional upheaval within us. We can quickly sink into a negative narrative in our minds that drags us deeper into despair.
We question if God knows what’s going on in our lives.
We wonder if he sees our pain and if he cares at all.
We begin to assume that he is uninterested and uninvolved.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
God’s word says that he would never leave us or forsake us. He is aware of your situation and he cares deeply. Even though you might not be able to feel him in the present moment, he is close at hand, and he is actively working on your behalf.
When we lift our voices and speak out our praise to God in the middle of our darkest hour a shift happens in the spiritual realm. Why? Because there is a supernatural principle at work here… it takes FAITH to praise God in the middle of our struggle.
It takes faith to believe in God when we can’t actually see Him at work.
A few years ago, I was in what I would call a dark season. I was struggling through a strained work relationship, so I buried myself in ministry work to relieve the stress. In the middle of what was already a difficult and busy season of life, I very suddenly lost my mother to cancer. It felt like all my prayers had gone unanswered and everything I hoped for had been lost. I tried to bury my grief and press on but eventually, it got the best of me. I crashed. Like completely crashed.
My husband put me on a plane and sent me away for a 4-day personal retreat. I spent most of those four days laying on a hotel room floor crying, begging God to let me quit ministry altogether. It just all felt too hard. Of course, his answer was no.
So, I did the only thing I knew how to do… I plugged in my worship playlist and began to sing worship songs in my hotel room. I’m not sure what the neighbours may have thought… and frankly, I didn’t care. It’s what my soul needed. Deep inside my spirit longed to connect with the Father but my mind and emotions had gotten in the way. Worship was the only way I knew to push through my mess and into the presence of God.
Songs of praise and worship keep our focus in the right place and set our hearts and minds towards the goodness of God. It helps us to lift our eyes off of the despair of our current situation and centres our hearts on our faithful Saviour and the hope he has called us into.
In the darkest moments of my life, it is praise that has got me through.
When we are too broken and too confused to even know how to pray songs of worship not only lead us into his presence, but they put words of adoration and faith in our mouths. When we sing along with our favourite songs we are actually speaking out God’s word and promises over our lives and situations.
Praising God in the middle of our darkest hour is not natural… it is supernatural.
And it may just be the pathway that leads to your breakthrough!
I will praise the Lord at all times… I will constantly speak his praises.
Brenda Drost is a Pastor and Speaker who is known for her warm smile and passionate preaching style. Whether she is teaching at her home church or out on the road, she loves to bring challenging messages that actually help people live out their faith in the real world. She and her husband live on their farm in the beautiful Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada where they have raised their four children. Find out more about Brenda here.