You know how a lot of times it is easier to worship the Lord when He is visibly at work and everything seems to go according to plan?
I am sure that I am not the only one who feels like this, and it is absolutely natural. When we go through something hard or we just do not feel close to God, it can be hard to find ways to worship and reasons to praise Him. Our worship might turn into a lament.
Although pouring our heart out to God in all honesty is very biblical and an important part of our faithful lives, God has been revealing to me lately a different mindset.
I read the story of David just before his death when he was provided with an incredible amount of gold and silver and other expensive materials for the temple of God, and his son Solomon was anointed as king. Both of these were extremely joyful events and brought David to a place of praise.
“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (NIV)
I found this song of praise beautiful. Even thousands of years after David sang it, I could feel the authenticity and the joy that surpasses all understanding. It was beyond the words David was able to put together. His view of God in that moment was so pure and clear. He saw the Lord for who He was in the very essence of His being and praised Him for that.
This is where God challenged me. When things are not great we are not able to praise God in the same way or with the same words because we cannot see Him for the pure goodness, love, mercy and grace that He is. However, God does not change and while our feelings and experiences are very important and valid, they do not change who He is. They simply change whether or not we are able to see it truthfully.
I started asking myself, what if we were able to see God in such beautiful light every time we think of Him? What if we did not let our feelings shape what we understand to be the truth of God but simply let the feelings and his unspeakable majesty walk alongside each other? I know it would not be easy. I am new to this mindset, and trust me, it hurts my human brain to even imagine it. But it would mean to see God in His full glory and holiness every day, no matter how it turns out to be, and that is so much more valuable.
Negative life experiences do not contradict God’s character. It is just the enemy who is trying to convince us that our Lord is someone else than we think, but we do not have to give in. We can know the truth of our Lord even when our feelings distract us.
What really changed my perspective was the realization that feelings are to be felt, but truth is to be believed regardless of what feelings we have. So walking in the valleys of life, let us view God from the perspective we had on the mountaintop because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.