Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Instruments of Praise

What instruments of praise has God given you? We are all given things to praise God with and for, even in the darkest of times. What circumstance, gift, or pain have you been assigned to praise God with?

I've been learning the value of praising God even when I don't feel like it. There are days when the praise comes naturally. Those are good days when I can see how God has worked in my life and blessed me. There are other days when I have to sit with pen and paper and work hard to write something that I am thankful for. Those are hard days when things seem so bleak and God seems like an uninterested observer.

I'll admit that in these last couple of days it has been hard to praise God. Continued feelings of sickness that interupt my life and doctor's recommendations for further tests and medication have left me feeling discouraged and defeated. I feel like I am back at square one and I am left face down in front of Jesus waiting for His healing. When will this end?

I was pretty discouraged about all this until I read this passage of scripture:

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
Psalm 119:71

What a powerful verse! Psalm 119 is becoming one of my favorite passages of scripture. The writer here experiences some very hard stuff. He uses phrases like "my soul cleaves to the dust" and "my soul weeps because of grief". This man is no stranger to suffering but he has a heavenly focus that I desire. He recongnized that the result of his trials was that he learned more of God and that is good.

Looking back on the path God has asked me to walk, I can say with confidence that it has been good for me to be afflicted because through it I learn God's truth. A friend of mine who is also struggling with some things told me that it feels like she is hanging onto Jesus by her fingernails, and maybe that's what she is supposed to learn - to continually cling to Jesus. I too am learning to cling to Jesus. He's the only one who will get me through this. I have learned that throwing myself into the arms of Christ is the best place to be. It may not be comfortable or what I want, but it's good.

So I am learning to praise Him for the hard times, the struggles and the pain. What can you praise Him for?

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