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I Feel Many Things, Except To Praise...

By Robert Anthony

October 10th 2023



Isn’t it totally inappropriate to laugh with a friend who is hurting!? It’s completely irrational and even rude to try and celebrate when a loved one is grieving a loss. To dance and sing when there is great suffering and sorrow, truly seems out of place. But then again, the Bible basically prescribes Praise and Worship in times like these, when our soul is wrenched and our spirit falters, the Bible says, “Praise Him” and “Worship”.


In ancient times they understood more of this principal than we do in our modern generation. Drummers would often lead the army to battle, mourners would sing a melancholy tune before a funeral procession, some of the most amazing poetry and lyrics have been written by those who suffered terrible loss. In a way, it's most appropriate to sing and worship and Praise God when times are the most terrible. How else will we survive the horrors of war, or the unending grief of divorce, or the bottomless sorrow of losing a husband or wife before their time!? And yet the Bible says, “Praise Him” and "Worship your God”.


There are songs for every occasion. There are certainly love songs, songs of rejoicing and celebration, songs to help us remember His faithfulness, to sing aloud even while we are weeping, or lost, or afraid. Sometimes a good song is just what the doctor ordered. I used to play the piano often. I was going thru a time of tremendous loss and grieving. I think I survived those years burying myself into worship songs and old-time hymns on the piano, and singing. I could only play chords and I wasn’t even very good at that, but the Lord would often show up and comfort me while singing gentle or impassioned worship, reminding my soul who still sits upon The Throne. Sometimes we have to convince our soul to live, and for whatever the reason, Praise and Worship seems to greatly aide in the process.


“We enter into His presence with Thanksgiving and into His courts with Praise!” the Psalmist wrote. There is always something we can find to give thanks to our God for, there’s literally an unlimited supply of reasons to Worship Him… but in heaven it will be much easier! Can you imagine!? We will see so clearly, face to face and understand so entirely all that He did for us throughout our lives but also for the whole of the world! We will truly be convinced of His goodness and love not because someone is preaching at us but because we are standing before Him and seeing it, even with brand new eyes! And we will be so happy to Praise Him.


I used to think, How boring to be in heaven and singing all the time, Praising God for eternity. But now I think, What else will I have to offer Him in heaven? He doesn’t need anything from me… Oh I know! I can Worship Him! I can express my love and gratitude for Him in song, music and dance! It will be so easy to Praise Him… and worship before His throne. We will understand then much more clearly how amazing He truly is! And Praise and Worship will be the only reasonable response.


 

We can sing over Israel. That’s what the Psalms were written for, beautiful poetry put to music to help us to Pray and Praise! We can sing over our sons and our daughters, “Lord Bless you… And Keep you… Make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you… Lord turn His face towards you… And give you peace…” We can sing over the lost and sinners, we can sing over our enemies and those who mean us great harm. What better to do when the world crumbles around us and it’s so difficult to hold to hope? We Praise Him - Singing the songs of remembrance and we provoke ourselves to faith!


What else does it mean to be a Christian? We sing songs of thanksgiving only when He is good to us and life is easy? It will be very difficult to walk with God thru the whole of this life without being able to remember His Faithfulness, without being able to worship Him in every season. It is a temptation to depart from the presence of God during times of sorrow and loss. The enemy has stolen many a faithful believer during these times of trial. He comes to us at our weakest, he is so evil and unfair, he whispers in our ear, “How could you possibly believe that God loves you after this?” And the adversary starts reminding us of all the terrible things we have suffered and blaming God, he deceives us into leaving Him. It’s an evil plot as old as time. But hopefully we learn to ignore that deceiver, we rebuke him and return... to Praise!


Some of the dearest and most honest songs that I have ever sung begin with a question, “Where are you in this terrible pain, Lord?” Jesus said it also, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me!?” Some of the most intimate moments I have had with God began with weeping and only the keys of the piano softly keeping the melody because I couldn’t utter a sound. But then, slowly, I could sing, “Faithful… You’re always Faithful…” As the tears streamed down my face, suddenly I started to remember His Faithfulness… and then surprisingly, I could Praise Him!


It's very hard to be honest with Him sometimes. The fear can be crippling, gripping our hearts like a constrictor snake, choking the life out of us. The fear sometimes can be so loud, it’s hard to hear anything else or believe anything else…. But then comes the Spirit…. Then comes the Helper from heaven and He too whispers to us, “You’re not alone… You’re not alone… He knows all your pain… And it's not going to last forever…” And suddenly the fear is gone. What kind of amazing Christians would we be if we never feared again!? So we should Praise Him until the fear is gone... and suddenly, there will be nothing left to fear!


Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation” but then He said, “Be of good cheer! For I have overcome the world!” So we Praise Him! And it gets easier the more we come to trust Him. Because we know for certain... He will never leave, He will never forsake us!


“We enter into His presence with Thanksgiving and into His courts with Praise!” Where is our enemy found in His presence? Can there be any darkness in the presence of God!? But it doesn’t always start with Praise… Sometimes the song begins with the deepest sorrow and unable to be uttered, grief… But keep playing… Keep the melody… The Praise will come soon enough! The Comforter will come and suddenly your soul will come alive, and you will... Praise Him!


 

It has to go this way. He would not get our attention unless it was this intense, He has to shake the earth, but this time not only the earth, heaven too must be shaken (Hebrews 12). He’s coming for us. He wants that none should perish. And He is doing everything He can to get our attention! Remember, He never wanted us to live this way. We were never supposed to live in a world so ugly and broken. So He made an end to it all. And He has been telling us it would end, practically since the very beginning. The truth is, we are going home. It should be easy to Praise Him… We are going home, to eternity with our God, very soon!


The pain and suffering will be over. We are going home. There will be no more night, no death, no divorce, nothing to sorrow for, no sickness or disease, we are going to paradise with our Father, The King! If that isn’t something to Praise Him for, I don’t know what is!? Time is short. We have to convince everyone that will listen, “Give yourself over to God! Go to Him, and be made new. It’s not about religion, God is your Father, He wants you to know Him. Call upon His holy name. He will come to you! He’s alive! He hears us when we call!”


Time is short. Try not to be overly concerned about these things that must come to pass. Death is not the end. And some of us will never die. Some among us will never love God, no matter how good He is to them. Some among us will be evil, because they genuinely want to be evil. But some we will pull out of the fire and present them to God, and they will be saved! And together, the redeemed of the Lord... We will Praise Him!


Let’s try not to be overly concerned about the things of this world, many of them we simply do not have power over. But rather let us be mindful of heavenly things and remember, The Best is Yet to Come!


He will make a way for us in the desert, He will part an ocean if He has to, He is the God of angel armies, the Lord of Hosts! We will see Him very soon!

And it will be much easier to Praise Him!


For now, Maybe we can practice!? If it’s too hard to do it alone, grab a friend or two… We should gather ourselves together And all the more as we see the day approaching


It's actually just as much our blessing as it is His,

To be in His Presence!? What’s better!?


I’m going to go sing with the kids… They love to sing and dance!! They know all about Praise!! Much love friends, More to come! - Robert

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