Yesterday, I wrote on the idea of praising God, no matter what. I began to think about the multitude of ways others may respond to that post, and wanted to add on to it. My hope is that this will explain my heart, my position on faith, and my relationship with God. Clearly, every believer is not at the same place. And those who have no belief in God? Obviously, their view will be totally different. I respect that, completely. I also understand that our journeys through life vary, and the way we come to our knowledge of God varies. With that being said, here we go....
In the midst of extreme heartache, loss that rocks me to my core, can I still praise God? Yes. Through tears, through the pain, yes, He is still more than worthy of my praise. And when those horrible things in life occur that seem senseless and like such a waste, is He still who He says He is? Yes. God cannot change, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:8.
What about the injustice in the world? Does God care about that? Yes, He does. And one day, even if those people who escaped judgement on earth, they will have to give an account for the choices they have made, "But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead," 1 Peter 4:5.
Honestly, I think there are a few scriptures that sum it up better than I could.
1 Peter 4:12-19:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good."
And the hope I believe in? The hope that ushers me into praise, whether I am crawling there or running? Isaiah 61: 1-3 explains that:
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."