Whatever happens to us as God’s children, whether it’s wonderfully good or hardship and pain, it can be mixed with deep joy that can never be taken away, so in everything we can learn to praise the Lord.
After an accident recently, which has left me confined to one place, unable to do very much, I am able to praise God in this situation. He has provided many special people to meet each of my needs. There’s an inner comfort in knowing my spirit is being lifted up in prayer. There is time for wonder and meditation as my needs throw me upon His strength. There’s a deep peace in the midst of pain.
I’m also aware of the amazing way that the human body heals itself naturally when broken, all part of God’s design. There is the deep sense of knowing that God sees, knows and has prepared the way ahead, plus a deep joy of knowing that our precious Saviour is with me, His Holy Spirit renewing me on the inside every day - ‘His mercies are new every morning’ (Lamentations 3:23).
‘In no other religion and in no other literature is joy so conspicuous as in Christianity and in the Bible. Physically and psychologically speaking, it is the criterion of health whereby all the powers and affections are enriched and harmonised. So in religion it denotes the satisfaction of the soul, attaining its desire; and Christianity stands firm so long as men who have it are invested with joy’. (The Bible Reader’s Encyclopaedia and Concordance, by Rev. C.H.Wright, D.D.)
But one could just sit and bemoan any situation, sinking into a well of self pity. Oh may we get a glimpse of the things that He has prepared for us, things that we can’t even dream of or imagine. May we know the sweetness of each moment with Him and whether we find just one thing or a thousand to praise Him in, let’s just do it, for He inhabits the praises of His people, (and it changes us too).
I always remember, the harder it is to offer praise – the greater the sacrifice becomes. (Hebrews 13:15). ‘But to you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings’ (Malachi 4:2).
Prayer: O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be. George Matheson
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