Praising God in difficult situations is one of the hardest things we do. But there is great power when we do it. It is good to praise God during challenging moments.
The first reading of today made so much impression on me that I decided to reflect on it unlike I normally do.
Praising God in difficult situations may be very hard, but such type of attitude shows how strong our faith in God is.
In normal circumstances, we only praise God and thank Him when good things happen to us. From what we see in the first reading, it is also good to praise God the most in difficult situations.
When We Praise God.
It is always easy to praise and thank God when good things happen. In these moments, we celebrate, do thanksgiving, shouting the name of God. When bad things, we become sad, refuse to go to church again and hate God even.
When we remember to praise God is only when we see good things happen, what of when bad things happen? Can you praise God when you are suffering?
Can we praise God when everything we do refuses to turn around? Praising God in difficult situations seems to be a hard task. Can we praise God even when we lose a loved one or when we encounter failure and disappointment?
When we encounter problems and challenges what do we do? We complain, blame Christianity, blame Jesus Christ, nag God, lose faith and become bitter. Some will go to the extent of committing suicide, some abandon God to look for quick power and success.
Praising God in difficult situations or when things become hard seems to be a huge mountain to climb. Let us go through the first reading and see the need to praise God the most in our hardest moments.
The First Set.
In the first set of today’s readings, we see how the crowd join in beating and attacking Paul. They strip them naked, beat them with the rod. This must be very painful to bear.
Not only this again, but they also inflict them with uncountable blows. Who knows how many bruises they gave to them? Who knows how bruised their mouth would be and the wounds on their bodies? All in the name of preaching the gospel and standing by the truth.
Imagine the pains. Who can allow himself to undergo such torments in our present time in the name of preaching the word?
Not just this again, despite the pains and bruises, they throw them into prison, with no hospital or medical care. What a suffering? Remember they still have wounds in their bodies, yet in pains, they still put them in prison.
Not just this, they were put in the innermost cell, chained hands and feet despite the wounds.
These apostles have the right to complain to God and blame. Remember that Jesus promised to be with them. Why does Jesus allow them to suffer like this?
He would have sent fire to consume their enemies. When as a servant of God, you are keeping His words and enter such difficulty, wow many will even curse the day they were born. Some will curse Jesus and brand Christianity as a scam. Now see what happened.
Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refuse to complain nor blame God even in the fire, Paul and Silas who knew the power of midnight praises, took the moment to dance and sing praises to God. This is practically impossible in our time. It takes who understands the power of God to do this.
Take it like this, as a child of God, you avoid sin, fulfill all your obligations, preach the word often but yet things become so challenging for you.
The more you pray, the harder it becomes. What do you think? We may begin to feel that God is fake and prayer is a waste of time.
In the case of Paul and Silas, their attention was not on the circumstance, suffering nor bruises, their attention was on God.
Paul and Silas did not sing to see if God would act or not as we do. They did not say, let us challenge God, rather they sing from their hearts.
They refused to become bitter, blame God about their condition and complain, rather they were praising God.
Imagine if we are these apostles. Can we praise God when things are going against our plan despite how dedicated we are to God?
The apostles teach us a lesson today. Praising God in difficult situations is a virtue we must acquire. This is the type of faith that can bring down the power of the Most High. Guess what happened next?
Because of the magnitude of their faith in the midst of difficulties, God responds with a mighty earthquake shaking the foundations of the jail and open every closed door of the building, destroying the chains all over them.
Imagine you are praying and an earthquake begins to happen, my brother, everybody will be on the run. They will say oh the enemy has come again.
The lesson here is that sometimes when God is shaking foundations, He is doing that not against you but for you. Shaking the foundations here can be likened to that time when the more you pray, the more challenges come.
It could be that God is shaking the foundations so as to let you be free. Please stand firm and never lose hope. Praising God in difficult situations is very powerful.
In Daniel 3, when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are praising God in the fire, God responded in the fire.
There is power in praises and there is more power when it is done in the midst of no hope situations and when it is done during hard moments.
This type of faith can open any closed doors and break chains like it does today for Paul and Silas.
This type of faith does things above our understanding. Praising God in difficult situations can calm every fire like in Daniel 3. It can give you victory like in 2nd Chronicles 20. But the question is, can we?
The only time we remember to say thank you is only in good moments. What of when things go wrong? Let us also know that the power of God becomes more present when we praise Him in the midst of difficulties.
May God bless you dearest as we focus our attention on Him rather than on our problems. Just like Paul and Silas, may He open every closed door in your life. Amen.