“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” What does it mean “to praise” God? The word “praise” - coming from Middle English - means “to value,” or “to prize.” How easy it is to sing praise to God when we think we are experiencing blessings. Sometimes, however, all does not seem to be “going well with my world.” Is God still praiseworthy then?
You are perhaps familiar with the term “fair-weather-friends,” people who appear when things are “rosy” but who disappear when the going gets rough. Perhaps you’ve had that experience? Or, maybe you’ve been fortunate to have a stalwart friend who stuck by you through it all.
Can you trust in the Lord’s goodness and love for you when all does not seem to be going well? It isn’t just a matter of trusting God. Let’s turn it around and ask, “Can the Lord trust you to standby and not walk away? Micah 6:8 says, “This is what God asks of you, only this, to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” Walking humbly does not mean with self-depreciation. It means walking with and acknowledging that the God who loves you with a steadfast love still loves you in circumstances you do not understand nor even, perhaps, enjoy. Maybe that’s what is meant in scripture by, “Offer the Lord a sacrifice of praise.” (Hebrews 13:15)
Habakkuk stepped over the “fair-weather” line and sang, “Even though the fig tree does not bear fruit and the field does not yield crops, yet will I rejoice in the Lord.” (Hab. 15:17) That kind of praising God takes a lot of courage – and a heap of practice to become good at it! What a challenge!
Perhaps the Lord is asking you to step into the unknown this Lent. Perhaps our Still Speaking God is saying, “Trust me, walk with me, surrender to my love, or must I always do signs and wonders so that you will believe me?”
Blessings to you as you continue to journey into being an “all-weather friend” of the Lord. – Jackie F.