I was awoken this morning at 5:30 AM. With it being a Saturday, and only getting about 4 hours of sleep, I wondered why I was awake.
After about an hour of not being able to go back to sleep, I laid in bed, thinking. Why is it so hard for us to praise God in times of blessing, as well as times of suffering?
I put on the Christian music channel on TV and began to read my morning devotions.
One of the first things that I read was about Daniel, and his persistence to God while in the lion’s den. In the most troubling circumstances of his life, he chose to pray to God, to thank him for all He is and all He has done. Imagine that. Even in the most dire circumstances, he still called out to God’s Holy name. It didn’t take him receiving good news to praise God; he did it without fail.
Lately, I find that if my life is going the way that I want, I don’t call out to God anymore. I’ve become trapped by my own selfishness and I forget that everything I have been blessed with, came from the hand of God Himself. He could take it all away from me in an instant, simply because I wasn’t appreciative of what I have, or because I didn’t thank Him or honor His name for bearing those blessings. I wonder, if He took it all away, would I still praise Him?
Maybe you’ve heard of Job. The man who had it all and in a split second, it was gone. His family, his crop, his livestock, his health. Job had a horrible suffering poured out on him, and even he still chose to praise God.
My life hasn’t always been a steady road. True, it’s never been threatened, I’ve never been thrown into a lion’s den, and I’ve never had to suffer the way that Job did, but I’ve gone through my own battles and wars. I need to remember my times of suffering and cherish them. Weird, right? Not so much. In praising God through my sufferings, as well as the blessings, I can thank Him through all. We are given a choice. The one choice that will decide our eternal futures: life or death. And it all stems from blessings and curses. We are blessed beyond measure, even when we feel like we have little to be grateful for, and it’s in these times of uncertainty that we should cling to God, that much more. In doing so, we are choosing to trust God, with everything we are and everything that we have..which will one day lead us to eternal life.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 — Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
We have so much to live for, and following, praising and serving God should not only be during our times of blessing, but in the times of stress, suffering or distress as well. To thank Him for what He has given, and what He has taken away, because it’s in His divine plan.
I will be the first person to say that I don’t thank God enough for all He does, and this morning was a reminder of that.
My goal is to keep God on my mind, at all times. To remember that I’ve been blessed beyond what any man could measure. I won’t overlook my times of suffering; I will cherish them, because I know that there is a light (a blessing) at the end of that trial.
And through it all, God is standing by my side, with His hand outstretched, saying, “My child, the one that I hold dear, I’m here. Have faith in me, and when your blessings come, and they surely will, remember that it was I that pulled you through your sufferings.”
Thank God for your blessings and thank God for your suffering. Praise His name through it all.