Friday, March 14, 2008

I'll Praise You in this Storm

Have you ever asked God the famous one-word question, "WHY?" Have you ever just really struggled with difficult situations that are going on around you and found yourself wallowing in self-pity? These feelings are common--tragedy happens. It's called life! (I am not saying that life is a tragedy--I am saying that stuff happens in this thing we call life!) There is a guy in the Bible who faced some pretty difficult storms in his lifetime. There were many times when he asked God "why???" and wondered why in the world certain things were happening to him. Maybe you can guess who this guy is. His name is David. David went through so many ups and downs--kind of like a roller coaster! One minute he is a young shepherd boy defeating a giant and the next he is committing adultery. Then there is the time he is called a man after God's own heart and the moments he is hiding out in a cave from his enemies. David experienced the storms of this life and he questioned God. But what I appreciate about David is that while he questioned God, he did not forget to praise Him. In the midst of David's storms, he chose to worship God. Notice the fact that this was a choice. Praising God was not a feeling or a sudden impulse. It was a choice that David had to make. And believe me, this is not easy! When storms surround us it is so much easier to adopt a "woe is me" mindset and give God the silent treatment. But, in all reality, does that help the situation? Nope. I once heard this amazing quote from John Maxwell, "What happens in us is more important than what happens to us." Wow, did you catch that? The circumstances around us are not that important, our reaction to them is what really matters. So many of the storms that we face are great exercises to help us grow in our faith and trust in Jesus, but we cannot grow if we don't make the deliberate choice to praise Jesus even when we don't understand what is going on. Check out Psalm 57, it is a great example of David praising God in the midst of his storms.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills {his purpose} for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah God sends his love and his faithfulness. I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. They spread a net for my feet—I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path—but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
(Psalm 57:1-11)


Notice that immediately after describing the fierce lions and danger surrounding him, David praises God! That is something that I want to do when life's pressures weigh in on me! When the blackness of the storms of this world encave around me, I want to look into Jesus' eyes and fell His love wrap around me. That sounds a whole lot better than self-pity!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

emily u are amazing! today my parents wouldnt let me go to a party just cuz they wanted me to hang out w/them..and i was really upset..and i have had to go thro so much lately..u know how it is being a teen! and i thought God didnt really care...i read ur blog ALL the time and there is always amazing advice!! so thnx so much for having something like this! u dont even realize how much u impact ppl! keep it up!

HIS Princess said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. Coming from one teen to another, what are some topics that you would want to learn more about or see on my blog? I would love your input! You can either comment back or you could send me an email at emilybc91@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Emily

Kelsey said...

So true! Praise is a choice not a feeling. It's so easy to forget that! I love the quote you used: "What happens in us is more important than what happens to us." Amazing!

Anonymous said...

hey emily,i dont know if i can tell you what teenagers would like to hear...because you do such a great job on you own! there is always something new..and you "mix it up" so to say...so its not like other girls blogs where all you hear about is boys or make up or clothes...you write about everything and its amazing!! i really like you journaling advice..i would really like to start my own blog! so maybe you can give some tips on that!