Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. [Lam. 3:40]
When life’s twists and turns take you down unexpected and difficult roads, it can sometimes feel strange to praise the Lord.
Yet He seeks our praise in all things—whether they appear good to us or not.
So how can you praise God when adversity finds its way into your life?
First, remember that our God is good and always gives us ample reason to praise Him. When you find yourself not wanting to praise Him (or not knowing how), try some of the following ideas:
• Make a list of blessings God has bestowed on you—from giving you friends and family to salvation in His Son.
• Tell someone about your salvation experience. Re-telling the moment when God lovingly adopted you into His family helps you recall the beauty of His matchless grace.
• Read a psalm each day. David praised God through hardship and great trial; we can learn from his example.
• Try to imagine how God could use negative circumstances to glorify Himself. Could He use the death of a loved one to get a lost person thinking about the meaning of life? Could He use the loss of a job to help you focus on Him and find out how you can experience His best? Could He use an illness to give you the opportunity to minister to the sick souls of your doctors and nurses as they minister to your sick body?
Second, remember that God’s overriding purpose in your life is to glorify Him and that He will use any means necessary to accomplish that.
Ask Him to change your perspective so that you will see your life circumstances as He does. For example, God has a decidedly different viewpoint on the death of believers than we often do: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15). When we begin to see things as He does, we begin to see the truth—and praise once more can find a home on our lips.
Third, by exercising your will, make a conscious choice to praise Him.
David did this: “While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Ps. 146:2).
Despite how you may feel, praise really can flow from you like a fountain—beginning right now.