Lately, I’ve been going through a time of grieving. This grieving does not have to do with the death of a loved one, but the seeming death of dreams I’ve had for loved ones. Some days I feel the more I pray, the more situations happen that add to my grief.
Yet in the midst of grief and my temptation to wallow in self-pity, I’m reminded that praising God is mandatory if I want victory.
Today I’m reposting a blog with a song added that I posted on April 29, 2012—two months after my youngest brother committed suicide. God helped me through that time of grief, and He will help me now. Staying in praise seems to be a key to receiving that help.
I pray that this will be the course of my heart: I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1 KJV
Praising My Way Through Grief
Praising God when things are going well seems the right thing to do.
But when my world seems to be shattered, praising God can feel unnatural.
And so it is.
This is why God rejoices when I do it, and my life is transformed in the process.
There’s no doubt that the Word instructs me to keep on praising the Lord—no matter what my circumstances are like.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1 KJV
What a challenge this has been in my Christian life. Too often I want to “bless the LORD” with my praise only when all seems right with my world.
When it feels to my near-sighted soul that He has withdrawn His blessings from me–such as when tragedy or trouble comes–I want to withdraw my praise.
The course in the midst of troubles has too often been: I will praise Him when things get better—when He is blessing me again.
The truth is that God never stops blessing me. Every day and every moment of the day He pours His grace on me. He helps me through my troubles—if I’m willing to receive that help. His love for me does not change—even though my circumstances may.
Praises can cease when I start judging God– accusing Him of bringing calamity to my life for all sorts of unholy reasons. The truth is God remains holy and righteous through every season of my life. His view of me does not change just because I think it does or because my view of Him becomes skewed. He is not punishing me through trials just because my wayward soul determines it is so.
When tragedy struck in my life due to the suicide of my brother, there was a part of me that wanted to stop praising God—especially since this was the second suicide of a sibling I had to face. How can I praise a God who refused to intervene to save this precious life? Or my sister’s life many years ago? But those thoughts were short-lived as I determined to stay in praise no matter what my emotions told me.
As I have stayed in the Word—especially in the psalms—I’ve been reminded that God is deserving of all my praise. Praise the Lord! I’ve recalled all He has brought me through. Praise the Lord! I’ve recollected how at times He has carried me when I’ve felt too weak to go on—both in this tragedy and in the midst of calamities in the past. Praise the Lord!
Not only do I praise God for His faithfulness in days gone by and in my present struggles, but I also praise Him for His promise to be faithful in the future. I feel excited about what He is going to do next to continue to bring good out of this latest heartbreak as He has done with every challenge in my life.
My heart echoes what David said in Psalm 43:5
…for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)
Here is a song that has comforted me so much over the years:
“Praise You In The Storm” by Casting Crowns