Sunday, February 9, 2014

More than Plastic Praise

Sometimes in midst of deep struggles and dark moments, there are rays of light. Slivers of hope that break thru and stir the soul at its depths. It's not that things are better, or simpler, or easier to understand. Sometimes it's the promise, the faith that one day things wont be the way they are right now. I am really enjoying  the "golden egg" moments that are nestled throughout some really harsh circumstances in the book of Isaiah. Things are not good. People are struggling. Kingdoms are falling. Sin has created great suffering. But today does not define what tomorrow will be. God has a plan for the restoration of His people.
In that day you will say, "I will praise you O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation... Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done and proclaim that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." Isaiah 12
To offer praise in the middle of pleasure can be easy. Life is good, things are good, praise Jesus, bla bla bla.
But do I chose to praise God when life gets hard and stays that way? Praise should not be circumstantial or environmental. Praise shouldn't be correlated to my mood or my feelings or the the weather. God is worthy of my worship and my praise. Period. Let's be clear. I am not talking fake praise; "it's -6 out, my heating bill was $300 and it's snowing again - praise Jesus". I'm not sure what that's about - but it's not about God. Praising God shouldn't be manufactured, plastic and insincere gratitude.

The more time I spend with God, the greater my understanding becomes of just how amazing He is and how unworthy I am. He has comforted me, there is peace in my soul that defies present circumstance.  He is my salvation, apart from Him I am eternally doomed. I will trust and not be afraid, I can depend fully and completely on Him without fear. The Lord is my strength, so I don't have to be smart enough or brave enough. He and I together will face what I could never face alone. And He is my song; the truth and joy that resonates within me is from Him. He has done glorious things...Great is the Holy One of Israel among you. God's plan for restoration was Jesus. The is a path for restored relationship with my Father. God as active and participating in my life - and that has made all the difference. Praise God!

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