My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and to those of you who are seeking answers to some of life’s most difficult and ugly problems. Let’s face it, some things are just plain ugly. Some are painful, some are tragic, some of unbelievably difficult to understand and go through. I mean, we find ourselves in situations that if we were God we would have never created or let happen. And yet, we are where we are because God has allowed these things to happen to us, or sometimes we think, even worse, God has put us there on purpose.
So what do we do while we wait for the misery to end? Worship God.
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; …I will bow…and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,…When I called, you answered me; you greatly emboldened me….Though I walk in the midst of trouble,…you preserve my life….You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;…with your right hand you save me…your love, Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”
Sometimes when I think of your problems, those of you whom I know and have talked to, I just get so overwhelmed I get down on my knees and pray for you and your situations. On days like today I will fast and pray and seek God and worship Him and call upon Him to help you in your troubles.
And at the end of this message I will pray for you and ask God to protect you in your difficulty; I will ask God to strengthen you and sustain you so that you do not lose your faith in Him; I will pray and ask God to deliver you from your difficulty and release you from the bondage and trouble the Lord has allowed to come upon your life.
And while we wait for God to answer we will worship Him.
The key is to worship and pray
Solomon said in the book of proverbs that worshipping the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge. Knowledge begins with worshipping the Lord. So wherever we find ourselves, whatever trouble we find ourselves in, it helps to worship the Lord.
And to worship the Lord means to pray to Him. To worship the Lord means to praise Him. To worship the Lord means to enter His presence by turning our hearts towards Him and calling upon His name. To worship the Lord means to ask Him for things; to acknowledge or just say who He is; to admit and accept and see who God is for who He is. He is great and He loves us very much. And HE will help us in our difficulties and He will be with us in our difficulties.
Worshipping God means that we see and understand that God is good:
“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” – Psalm 34:8.
We don’t worship God because He has removed all the troubles and difficulties from our lives; we worship God because He is who He is in all the difficulties and troubles in our lives.
Sometimes as Christians we get this silly and unreal understanding that God will make all our problems disappear; that every sickness and painful thing in our lives will disappear; and that is why we should praise Him.
But that will only happen when we die. When we die God has promised that HE “will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4) But that only happens when we go to heaven; while we are here on earth there will be tears, there will be sorrow and crying and pain; all these things will be with us until we die.
So clothe yourself with compassion for each other; clothe yourselves with love and compassion for other people. Show them mercy and grace and love because their lives aren’t any better than yours. They also have their problems and difficulties even thought they haven’t shared their problems with you; and for that matter you probably haven’t shared your problems with them.
Love each other
“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.” – 1 Peter 4:8-9.
Love one another, pray for one another, care for one another. Don’t let the trials and difficulties you find yourself in determine whether or not you are going to worship God.
Why should you drown your sorrows with alcohol or drugs or food or sugar or whatever it is you think you need to eliminate the sorrow?
As surely as the sun comes up you will have difficulties and trials in your life, otherwise Jesus would not have said so.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33.
Sometimes we worship with tears
So don’t think that worshipping God always happens with a big smiley face; sometimes worshipping God happens with tears. Sometimes we worship God when we are broken, and on our knees, not having a clue which way to turn or what to do.
We can find God in our joys and in our sorrows. We can find Him when we feel like we are on top of the world or when we feel we are at the bottom of the garbage dump.
In Psalm 56 it says:
“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?”