A question that has come to my mind often in the last several weeks is, "Why do we praise God?" I've been pondering how I would answer that question, wondering how the people that we are ministering to here in Mexico would answer that question. I think a common response would be that we praise Him because of all He does for us. That's a good, solid answer...after all, He does some incredible things for us. Besides the love He showed us by saving us, He still shows us mercy and grace on a daily basis. He helps us through problems, protects us from danger, and performs miracles that amaze us. Praising God for what He does is a way of showing Him that we are grateful, that we love Him in return.
However, even though we serve a God that is bigger than life, we all know that we don't always feel that He is near to us. Sometimes we just have to believe by faith, but we don't necessarily feel His presence with us. After all, the Bible says that it rains on the just and the unjust. Life happens to all of us. We face problems and difficulties, heartache and heartbreak, danger and trauma, sickness and loss. Often, it seems very accurate to say that, "When it rains, it pours." Problems tend to come at us several at once, not one at a time. If we have only learned to praise God for the beautiful things He gives us, I'm afraid we might be at a loss when we feel like we are drowning in trials and tribulation. Which is exactly why I have been pondering this question and examining my own heart when it comes to worship: "Why do I praise God?"
I want to learn to praise Him, not only for what He does, but simply for who He is. Our circumstances change from good to bad, from bad to worse, but He never changes. He remains constant, true to His Word, faithful to His promises. I want to KNOW, in the very core of who I am, that even when I can't see Him, He is there- with me, every step of the way. I want to be convinced that even when I don't understand the "why's" and "wherefore's" of the situation, that He has it all in His hands. He is never taken by surprise or taken off guard. Everything that happens is in His control. When I hurt and ache, He never leaves me. He is Beginning and End, King of kings and Lord of lords. He is Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, my fortress and strong tower. He is my Savior, the lover of my soul- the one who pursues me and loves me so faithfully and tenderly. He is worthy of all my praise, even in the midst of the worst storms of life.
This is a link to a video of one of my favorite songs. It's not new, but I only heard it for the first time a few months ago, and I've adopted it. I want to words of this song to be my heart attitude: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji2rLXr3cEU