“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5, Psalm 42:11, and Psalm 43:3)
There is a very popular TV commercial that says “life comes at you fast!” Boy, that statement holds a lot of truth! As Christians, life often comes at us fast, because the enemy, Satan, wants to keep us busy with distractions of discouragement and confusion, which keeps us from making the right choices in our Christian life.
How often do you plan your day only to have unwanted disruptions of bad news wanting to dictate your life such as: a loved one being diagnosed with a critical illness; just got laid off from your job of fifteen years; your spouse tells you they don’t love you anymore and wants a divorce; your child is misbehaving in school; your car broke down on the highway; you’re experiencing problems with your boss; your business is failing; you’re having financial problems – I could go on and on. Unfortunately, every one of us have been affected by one or more of these “life comes at you fast” situations, so the question is – how do you handle these “life comes at you fast” situations? Do you lift your voice up in “victory praises to God?” Or do you raise the “white flag of defeat” to the devil?
The Bible calls these “life comes at you fast” situations “trials and tribulations.” Do you realize these trials are just obstacles from Satan aimed at keeping you from trusting and believing our Heavenly Father for a victorious Christian walk? Jesus says the thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; but He (Jesus) came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10) and that includes a victorious and joy-filled Christian life. We don’t have to accept what Satan throws at us. The choice is ours: we can lift our voices in victory praises to God or raise the white flag of defeat to the devil.
Yes, all Christians at one time or another will experience trials and tribulations. These experiences can be tough at times and may leave us feeling as if everyone has deserted us. We will experience times when nothing seems to go right for us and we then begin to take on the “complaining and grumbling” attitude. Satan will even trick us into blaming God for these trials and tribulations, because at times we may feel like God doesn’t hear us or heaven has been shut up from us. Stop right there! God says He will never leave us nor forsake us. God is closer than we think. So, let’s think about this for a moment – who does the Bible say is the author of confusion, discouragement, doubt, fear and unbelief, destruction and division? You’re right, Satan! Are you going to allow his lies and trickery to defeat you?
Our victories begin when we learn how to praise God in the midst of a trial. I found 43 scriptures revealing the importance of praising God when troubled. Three of the scriptures are identical in meaning (*Psalm 42:5, Psalm 42:11, and Psalm 43:3) asking the reader “why is your spirit cast down and why are you troubled? Put your hope and trust in God.” Praise Him for His presence and help in the midst of your trial.
Learning how to praise God starts with a:
Relationship. Spend time reading the Bible so you can learn God’s ways. You will discover Him as a loving and caring Father who hovers over His children and delights in them! And, calls us “the apple of his eyes!” Time spent with God will strengthen us to go through our trials.
In a relationship, we brag about the people we love and the things we share with our loved ones, so why not include Father God in those bragging moments? Brag about His love for you and how He’s kept you and provided for you all these years! And, let God court you and teach you His ways – but be careful, you may begin to enjoy those special moments with God.
Communication: God already knows our situation. Nothing takes Father God by surprise. We need to partner ourselves with the Father God and tell Him what’s troubling us – He wants to hear from us! Jesus would get up early in the morning to communicate with the Father. He would also steal away from the crowds and the busyness of the day and go up into the mountains to communicate and spend quiet time with the Father. These alone moments with God empowered Jesus and refreshed Him to handle the trials He had to endure.
Let’s use Jesus’ example for our life and steal away from the busyness of our life. Go for a walk and talk with Father God, or find a private mountain in your home to communicate with Him. During those quiet moments with Father, listen for His “still small voice” communicating to you His comfort and reassurance.
He also wants to communicate to you that when life comes at you fast, these are not abnormalities, they are trials and tribulations, and He’s allowing us to go through these trials. He says “don’t think it strange when these trials come upon us, but rather glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” What good news! These trials will make us stronger and build our character, giving us hope to endure. So next time a trial comes our way, we won’t be so easily tricked by the enemy.
Spirit: Fill your spirit with songs of praise and worship. Singing praise music within our spirit will supernaturally lift up our downcast spirit and fill us with joy from Father God. Change who you hang around with, turn off the TV, pick up your Bible and get on your knees. Also, fellowship with Christians who are prayer warriors. Ask them to pray for you and with you. Memorize scriptures that relate to your trials and repeat them to your spirit and read them out loud.
God says, He already has a plan to give you victory over any or all trials or tribulations that come your way. Go through these trials “singing praises of victory to God,” not complaints of defeat. Trials that come our way are only a temporary test, it came to past, it didn’t’ come to stay!” Ask God to help you go through this test, and He will strengthen you by giving you the grace to go through it.
Strength: Spending time with God and learning how to praise Him – will empower us with renewed strength. Our trial won’t seem as big as we once thought. Our faith will become stronger and we will develop a peace from Father God that no one can take from us; His peace is knowing and believing that He will take care of every aspect of our life. This is resting in Father God! Most importantly we will have learned how to “praise Him in the midst of your trials,” depending on Him to deliver us or carry us through these life situations.
Imagine yourself as an Olympic runner! You’re racing to the finish line, you’re almost there, just a few more laps, you’re going to make it, your trial is almost done! Now imagine Jesus on the other side of the finish line, waiting to praise you for a victory “well done.”
So, right now I challenge you to confirm to yourself: “I am victorious in Christ Jesus who strengthens me. I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.” Now get out there and finish the race!!! You can do it!
Remember the choice is yours: “lift your voice in victory praises to God or raise the white flag of defeat to the devil.”