It is good to give God praises, adoration and worship when things are moving fine, when something great happens, when there is a testimony etc, which doesn’t take much effort. Many go to the altar and offer thanksgiving to God because of the mighty deeds God has done for them.

There are times in life when we feel like someone in the pit, things get you discouraged and you feel totally disappointed, Everything seemed impossible, difficulties hitting you everywhere, and you go around feeling sorry for yourself, feeling negative, then you begin to think and pray, and when it turns around, when your prayer is answered you then begin to have a good attitude, “when my condition changes, I will begin to feel great again, then I will praise God” but that’s not the principle.

When things happen to you whether good or bad, never forget to give God praise. Praises to God makes things turn around. Praises break that bondage holding you back. Praise is a yoke breaker. Praise activates Gods favour. Don’t wait till the business starts growing, don’t wait till you get admission, don’t wait till after the marriage crisis stops etc, praise God even in that pit. Praise God despite those things have not worked out in your favour, praise Him despite your condition, and praise Him despite of whatever you have lost. It is easy to praise God when you are in the mountain top, the real test of faith is when you praise God even in the valley; when you worship him even in the wilderness, even when the walls are falling.

In Genesis 37, when Joseph was a young man, God gave him a dream that one day he will rule a nation; that his brother will bow before him, Joseph must have been excited, he knew Gods favour was on the way; he should have kept it to himself but he went around telling the people around him. His brothers didn’t like the fact that they are going to bow down to him, they were already jealous that Joseph was the youngest and his father’s most beloved. One day, Joseph’s father asked him to go and check on his brothers who were in another city taking care of their father’s sheep. When they saw Joseph coming, they thought this is our chance to get rid of him. They said to one another, “here comes the dreamer, now is the time, let us kill him and throw him into a well. We shall say a wild animal devoured him, and then we shall see what comes of his dreams (Genesis 37:19-20). They had in mind to put an end to his destiny, but when God puts a promise in your heart; no one can stop it. No one has the final say in your life; only God does. Sometimes the dream God put in your heart will not pass without certain challenges and oppositions.

There will be times life is not fair, life doesn’t make sense; beloved they may also be part of God’s plan. It may look like setback but don’t be surprised, it may be a set up to move you to your destiny. The key here is what you do while in the pit. Maybe a relationship doesn’t work out, he divorced you, you lost a loved one etc, your medical report says you are not going to get better etc. it is very easy to get bitter about these; always complaining talking about how they are not  going to work out etc. What these things will do to you is to keep you in the pit.

When Joseph’s brothers saw a caravan of Ishmaelites heading on their way while Joseph was in the pit; one of the brothers named Judah said” what do we gain by killing our brother and hiding his blood come let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him for he is our brother and our own flesh” His brothers then agreed to this. And they brought him out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites.

Does this teach you something? What is interesting here is the meaning of the name Judah. Judah means praise. Praise saved Joseph from the pit. Here God is showing us that praises can protect your dreams. The other brothers were saying, let us kill him, let us kill him but praise rose up and said “no we are not going to kill him”, Praise changed the mind of the opposition, and Praise brought Joseph out of the pit and set him on his way to fulfill his destiny. Praise pushed back the forces of darkness. What would have happened to Joseph, if Judah was not with the brothers? Whenever you are in the pit, do not complain; turn up your praise. The only way you can protect your destiny and change your conditions is make sure you bring Judah up in the midst of afflictions. In the midst of fire, Shedrack Meshach and Abednego sang praises and God came to their rescue in Daniel 3. Surrounded by enemies, Jehoshaphat sang praises and God fought his battle in 2 Chronicles 20. In the prison in Acts 16, Paul and Silas sang praises and everywhere was shaken until God rescued them and converted the soldier that was even in charge of them. Beloved Never belittle the power of praises.

In your moments of sorrow, do you talk about how big your God is or how big your problem is? Do you still complain on who did you wrong? Beloved this is the best moment to clean up your tears and praise God. It looks difficult but still that is what makes praise a sacrifice. When God sees you praising him even in the pit, even in the storm, even in the fire, he knows what you passed through, he knows it wasn’t easy for you and yet still you praise Him. That moves God in a great way. The sacrifice of praise carries more weight. David a man of praise was so much loved by God. In psalm 40:2, David said He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Beloved no matter the case, never get discouraged, pick up your weapon of praises. God dwells in the midst of praises (psalm 22:3).

Fr. Sanctus Mario Ugwoegbu