In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
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Nine Days of Survival || Day Five
Turning Everything Back to Praise
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Right before he breaks into the triumphant chorus in his song Blessed Be the Name of the Lord, Matt Redman sings this:
Every blessing you pour out I’ll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Even when life seems to be going horribly, horribly wrong, when it feels like the Lord delivered a blow and the darkness truly is closing in, we can still praise His holy name. And not only can we, we are commanded to do so.
I don’t know about you but when life feels bad I tend to forget the truth that God Himself is not bad and still worthy of my praise. Certainly when I was pregnant with my fatally diagnosed babies life felt bad and hard. But I took the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to heart and made the choice to find ways to ensure that His praise was ever on my lips.
Here is a small list of the types of praises I would bring to the Lord even in the midst of my darkness:
Thank you lord that I have one healthy son and have the privilege of watching him grow.
Thank you for my husband and the fact that he continues to turn me toward Christ even in the midst of this struggle.
Thank you for friends and family who pray continuously for me.
Thank you that when my baby dies they will be ushered straight into your loving arms.
Thank you for paying the price to make that possible.
Thank you that one day I will see my babies again.
Certainly there were times when these praises were truly sacrifices. I often wanted to dwell in the sadness and in the difficulty of my situation. But I couldn’t do that without taking a real blow to my spirit. And so His praise was ever on my lips, sometimes the same praises over and over, but focusing on presenting this adoration to the God that held me saved my soul from despair.
Maybe you need to shift your thinking as well? Maybe you’ve sunk deep into a dark place, believing that there is nothing left for you to be thankful for, for you to praise God for. Take a minute right now to look out the window. What do you see? Is there anything out there right now that you can praise Almighty God for? I believe there is.
Father, be with us as we struggle to turn our thoughts to praise when all around us seems lost. Help us to see your goodness in nature, in relationships, in kindnesses from strangers. Burn in our hearts this desire to be thankful for even seemingly little things and praise you for them. Thank you, mountain carver, planet former, star placer. In Your Holy Name, Amen.


Nine Days of Survival:
Day One: The Next Right Thing
Day Two: Right Now Everything Is Ok
Day Three: Taking Every Thought Captive
Day Four: Thanking God for His Plan
Copyright © 2016 Sarah Rieke, All rights reserved.

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