Praising in the Darkness
November 21, 2015
by Maria Fontaine
Praising in the Darkness
We all know that there are many bad things that happen every day in this world, and we as Christians are not exempt from experiencing these things. We face hardships and painful experiences, and such things can disrupt our peace of mind, hinder our accomplishing what Jesus has asked us to do, and at times even threaten to weaken our faith. But, when it comes to His children, who love Him, Jesus has promised to work all things, both the good and the bad, together to bring a good result in the end for us.
In order to find the good in the things we experience, we have to look to the Lord. We have to fight the good fight of faith. We have to hold on to our faith and trust God, in spite of the bad. As we do, He has promised to do what we can’t—to bring good from these experiences, either in this life or the life to come.
When troubles and difficulties come, reminding ourselves of God’s goodness and care for us, and praising Him for it, can be one of the best ways to rise above sadness and discouragement. That sounds easy when you’re looking in from the outside, but when you’re in the middle of a struggle, it can be really difficult to take that step of being praiseful. Sometimes it just seems impossible. You really don’t feel like trying to praise. Logically, it doesn’t make sense. It’s like, “Are you kidding? How can I?” You can hardly understand what you’re supposed to be praising about. Maybe the most you can manage to say is, “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus.”
If that’s what you can give at that moment, then God will honor it. He knows how much trust and faith that requires. He knows you are giving Him the “sacrifice of praise.” To you it might not seem like those words “thank You, Jesus” are really that meaningful. However, even taking that step can guide your spirit in the right direction toward Him and away from the negative things that threaten to overwhelm you.
I’ve recently realized something I could do that would give me a way to more easily and quickly express praise in the face of troubles. I have a number of songs on my MP3 player under “praise in hard times.” When I hear of something major that has happened, or even something small that I’m personally frustrated about, I listen to these songs. They remind me of the many things to be grateful for and how I can praise the Lord in the midst of darkness. The music helps nudge and motivate me to sing along. Even after the song is over, I feel that it has made some grooves in my mind and I have something that I can repeat and sing to myself, even without the musical accompaniment. This has been a great boost to my prayer/praise life, giving me an effective way to praise the Lord in the big things and in the small, in the wonderful things and even in the difficult ones.
One of my favorite songs, “I Bless Your Name,” talks about how, when Paul and Silas, in prisoner’s chains and with bleeding stripes began to sing, God loosed their chains and they were free. Most of us don’t have literal chains, but we might be “in the prison of our mind” as we struggle with troubles and trying experiences that we can’t seem to overcome. We can reach out and break those chains by manifesting our faith and trust in Jesus through our praise, and they will fall off.
These songs remind me that not only should I praise when I have abundance in pleasant places, but also when I find myself “in the desert place,” “in the wilderness,” and “when the darkness closes in.” Even though the road may be “marked with suffering” and there may be “pain in the offering,” by His grace, I can still praise His name.
I hear these songs reminding me that Satan is a liar who “wants to make us think that we are paupers instead of children of the King,” but all we have to do to resist him is to lift up the mighty shield of faith and praise the Lord. He will work through our praises, for He inhabits the praise of His people.
As one of the songs says, “The chains that seem to bind us, serve only to remind us, that they will drop powerless behind us, when we praise Him. “
Below are the links to a few of these songs that are a blessing to me. There are others that you could search for, that also might be a help to you. Try it. It could work for you, too!
I Bless Your Name
Blessed Be Your Name
Praise the Lord