Praise or Worry

People are designed for worship. Specifically, God made you and me for the express purpose of worshipping him.  Praise is an action of worship where people repeat back to God all the great things he is and has done.  Psalm 103 describes it this way:

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.

David is saying praise should flow from the deepest parts of who we are. We do best, we function best, when the praise of God defines us.  The converse is also true: when you and I don’t live the way we are designed to function we don’t do well. Think carefully about this. If the praise of God is not a dominant part of your thoughts and words, you are not living as God designed you to live. Your life will be more challenging if praise is not your focus and passion.

Okay, what does look like in practical, real life? How do you make the praise of God something that makes life rewarding, fun and not churchy or disconnected? The place to begin is with the praise of the Psalms: all the works of God are great, all of his works. Everything is life the result of the plan and purpose of God. He is working all things together to bring about what is best for us. There is nothing random. Jesus Christ is Lord of the Universe!. He is also Lord of your life and heart. So when you are tempted to doubt or worry, you can know that God is there with you. He is not a spectator watching the events of our lives. Rather, you can know that nothing can separate you from the ongoing love of Christ. So when you are tempted to worry about the difficulties and circumstances of your life, hear the words of the one who gave his life for you:

So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So instead of being consumed with worry, you can engage in what God designed you to do. You can praise God that he will always provide an opportunity to advance his kingdom. This is huge. If you are in a stressful situation you know God is there with you. You know that whatever the circumstances are that he has made all of this happen so that you praise God with your response. There is no situation in your life where Christ is not present with you and praying for you.  This is truly something to praise God for. You were made for praise, not for worry.

Just one note of caution: if you have sought to turn life’s challenges into opportunities for praise and you are still discouraged, talk with someone to see if there is something you might be missing. Find someone you can trust to support you.

Shepherd Press