The praise problem
Church is an atmosphere that often or at least should be ,ushering us into a position of praising God. The aroma of coffee brewing in a welcoming church foyer. Warm smiles of the church greeters welcome us back from a taxing week.
The heavenly sound of voices in unison giving praise to the name of Jesus. Not to mention the encouragement of the well versed preacher pouring into us Words of Life.
But then Monday happens…
When The last cup of coffee is filled, the last worship song closes out, and the pastor closes his Bible real life sets in. Monday morning comes and we find ourselves with a praise problem. What is that praise problem?
The problem is that those same people that we witness praising God for their blessings on Sunday can become a source of our resentment against God.
This sounds crazy right? But we all do it. We confront God with our evidence that He is keeping something from us so we are going to keep our praise from Him.
THEY have good health, so why am I still sick?
THEY have a good marriage, so why haven’t you fixed mine?
THEY have extra money, so why Haven’t you provided for me to?
THEY have a child, so why haven’t you given me one?
The reason for our praise problem
I am not sure about you but I keep God pretty busy. And the one thing that I am having to learn again and again is that I will always need something.
So why is our praise and Gods provision tied so closely together? The reason is that we mistake the provision of God for the one event that will solve all the problems in our lives.
If health is the issue ,we say God “if you heal me I will be happy“. Or if the big problem is finances , we say ” If you would just find me a better job I would be happy Lord“. These I would be happy if statements could go on for all of eternity.
The issue being that once God solves the issue ,another one is just waiting to fill its place. There is nothing like being healed, a promotion given at work, or finding your soulmate after living a long single life.
But our answers to prayers can only bring temporary happiness and praise. Whereas once we are plugged into the wonder of knowing God, that joy can never be diminished no matter what happens.
And when you and me are filled with joy, it comes out as songs of praise. So if we do not try to put creation into God’s place in our lives praise will flow much freer.
Have you ever tried to build a fire with wood that did not want to burn? Most of the battle is just getting the fire started. Diesel is a good safe choice to get a quicker burn going.
But if you want to see an instant difference throw gasoline on the fire. There is a similar solution for when the fires of our praise are put out by the prosperity of others.
This ” spiritual gasoline” that we need is the truth of the good news of Jesus. That is because the enemy uses the blessings of others to trick us into thinking God doesn’t care about us.
And we do not give our praise to someone we think doesn’t care. It is the truth of the gospel that cuts through all of our unmet desires to allow us to see the heart of God clearly.
That heart being that when we were the ones who rebelled against God , He gave up and sacrificed His son for our salvation. Can we all just say WOW. So in the words of the apostle Paul if God did not spare His only son to save us from the wrath of God , then He will also give us what we need.
There is nothing that lights the fire of praise to God in our dead hearts ,as fixing our eyes on the extent to which God went to save us. A plan that involved the perfect Son of God being nailed to a tree and tortured beyond recognition.
Get Praise Vision
Social media can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. I love the opportunities it gives us to reach more people. But to be truthful it also awakens a side of me that is very unhealthy. When you and me see the highlight reels of other peoples lives it can often cause us to discount how blessed we really our.
So one way to praise when other people prosper is to realize everyone has problems. Just because they have what you have been asking for doesn’t mean you do not have a blessing they yearn for.
But to also realize that it is all in God’s timing. Just writing those words is tough. But timing is important. Just think how many of us like fruit that is completely unripe and sour? Nobody does! So Just because God hasn’t given you your miracle today doesn’t mean He never will.
It could just mean that your reward is just taking a while to get sweeter and sweeter. So the way to warm your heart back to praising God when others prosper is to put on your grateful glasses.
Choosing to look at your life through the lens of what God has actually blessed you with today , instead of what God hasn’t done for you today. If you choose to do this , you will be surprised at how easily the praise flows even in the middle of the difficult times.