When I learned of my cancer diagnosis, I was understandably overcome with emotion…shock, fear, sadness, anger. In the days that followed, I wrestled through each emotion time and time again. Just as my thoughts ran rampant, my emotions seemed to run wild as well.
During that time, our church was honored to host Brian Houston, lead pastor from Hillsong Church in Australia. He spoke on “When Ruins Come to Life.” So very timely, considering my life felt like it was in ruins. Referring to Ezra 3:10-12 when the Israelites were starting to rebuild the temple, he made the statement:
The place of praise is not just after God moves. It is an entry point
into the presence of God and the moving of His power.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs…Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise… (Psalm 100:2, 4).
The Israelites didn’t wait until the temple was completed before they worshiped God. The Psalmist didn’t wait until God had delivered him from his enemies before he worshiped God. And we shouldn’t wait to worship God after we see our miracle or deliverance.
Worship is not about us and our circumstances; worship is about God and Who He is.
Just as it’s important to guard our thoughts with God’s Word, it’s equally important to guard our emotions through worship. Worship takes the focus off myself and what I can do and puts it on God and what He can do.
How can you not be strengthened in your faith when you are listening to and singing messages like,
Your name is higher; Your name is greater
All my hope is in You.
Your word unfailing; Your promise unchanging
All my hope is in You
You hear me when I call; You are my morning song
Though darkness fill the night, it cannot hide the light
Whom shall I fear?
(Whom Shall I Fear, Chris Tomlin)
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
(Lord, I Need You, Matt Maher)
You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.” (Psalm 32:7-8)
There are many great worship albums out there, but here are a few that have been on repeat in our home. If you’re facing a “hopeless” situation, I encourage you to check them out. Then crank them up and just see what God will do.
Glorious Ruins (Hillsong)
This is Our God (Hillsong)
How Great is Our God (Chris Tomlin)
Lord, I Need You (Matt Maher)
“It’s impossible to praise God and remain distraught.” ~Brian Houston
This post is part of the series, Embracing Hope. In the coming weeks, we’ll look at why we can put our hope in God, how we put our hope in God, and what we can do when it feels all hope is lost. Won’t you come along for the journey? Consider subscribing via e-mail so you can receive new posts delivered directly to your inbox! Simply enter your e-mail address in the box to the right. To view the entire series, click here.
16 thoughts on “Finding Hope in Worship”
I think there is healing in many things. GOD can heal by performing a Miracle if HE so chooses. He can heal through medicine, music, and love.
I believe God uses music as a soul healer. And when we worship God, we experience who He is. Peace, Love, Joy and, yes, Hope. Great post!
I would add “Strong Enough” by Matthew West, too. We are praying for you, Nancy. It is so inspiring to read about your faith in this difficult time. Thanks for sharing!
For me, sometimes the worship IS the healing. Pinned. Thank you for this beautiful post.
Thank you, Monica! I’m so glad you stopped by!
We were just discussing this at our Bible study tonight which is on Job. After receiving all of the devastating news all at once about his losses, Job fell on his knees and worshiped. That was his first response. Amazing. You’re so right, worship opens the door for God to work in our lives in incredible ways.
I’m sorry I’ve not been commenting a lot lately. However, I have been reading your posts and they have been WONDERFUL. It’s beautiful how God is using this situation in your life to reach out and help others find hope. I’m so proud to be your friend!
Love you, Nanc, and praying continually for your healing!
Oh, love JOB! Didn’t even think about referencing him…now I might have to write a follow-up post! 😉 Thank you for sharing, Lora! Love you!
I just found your blog, Nancy, and I’m loving it already. Powerful stuff here. This post reminded me of the day when I learned how to praise God in spite of my circumstances, and why it is the only way to finding peace in such times. I wrote about it many years ago, and may post that story at some point, but to sum it up, my daughter was born premature and it looked like she was going to die. She wasn’t just any daughter. She was our adopted daughter, my one shot at motherhood, and to think she might be taken away from me before I had a chance to even get to know her felt like life’s most cruel trick. I was so angry at my circumstance, and even angry at God, but at His urging (and through gritted teeth at first) I began to praise Him, and that’s when miracles happened.
It was a life-changing day and has influenced how I’ve lived my life since then. My daughter is now 27 and the joy of my life, but God taught me that even if she had not survived, He would still have deserved my praise, because He is always worthy of praise. That was the secret: Praising Him in the midst of trouble.
As you say here, we can’t let our circumstances determine how much praise we give God. That’s a sure recipe for shutting up the heavens.
Thanks again for blessing me today.
Oh, Dayle. Thank you for sharing your story here. It is such a powerful one. I would love to read the post someday. ~Nancy
And now I’m adding you to my sidebar so I don’t miss you.
Thank you. 🙂
I was preparing a sermon about praising God through gritted teeth and ended up on your page with the lovely photos around Pigeon’s Forge. I did not know where it was but when i found it was near Knoxville I just had to tell my daughter-in-law who was thinking about moving there next year ! What a coincidence or is it a godincidence ?
Bless you for the lovely pictures and bless God for the handiwork
Woow… Thank you for this message
I’m really blessed.. God heal even as we believe in worshiping.
Hello, i must confuse im really inspired with this message. God bless