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.
“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.