by Barbara Latta
|Malachi 3:6 image from Daniel Reche from Pixabay|
Why does God tell us to praise Him continually? Why should we praise Him in bad times, too?
When we are suffering through experiences that are painful or depressing, the last thing we usually think about is praising God. Our minds are on our own situations, hurts, and despair.
God doesn’t tell us to praise Him in every circumstance to be mean. He is giving us the answer to our dilemma.
God doesn’t tell us to thank Him for bad situations, He says to praise Him in the middle of every circumstance. We circumvent the bad emotions and worry by focusing on Him. We aren’t to be thankful for being sick or for some tragedy. Those are the works of the devil. Jesus came to give us life (John 10:10). We thank Him that He is Lord over all of it. It shows we are trusting Him.
Why should we only want to praise our heavenly Father when everything goes our way? Here are some reasons we should praise God at all times no matter what is happening in our lives.
- Praise and thank God because He is God. For I am the Lord, I do not change (Malachi 3:6) NKJV).
- Praise Him because He says to. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 emphasis mine).
- Praise Him because it gets our minds off ourselves and onto Him, the only One who can solve our problem. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:5-6).
- Praise is a weapon against the devil. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). When we don’t give in to depression, despair and doubt we are resisting the devil.
- Praise Him because nothing will stop His plan from coming to pass. The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand (Isaiah 14:24). No one could stop Jesus from being born on the earth, and no one can stop Him from returning to reign.
People have the power of choice which is given to us by God. While He is in control of His plan, He isn’t in control of all people. If He were, there would be no evil in the world. We live in a fallen world where sinful people listen to the fallen nature dominated by the devil. Sometimes we bear the consequences of the decisions of other people that we have no control over. But that doesn’t mean we are to be thankful for those events.
God didn’t want Adam and Eve to sin but when they did sin entered the world and we all suffer for it. He told them what would happen if they disobeyed, but He didn’t control their actions. He let them choose. All through Israel’s history, God told His people what would happen if they strayed from Him. Yet they chose to disobey, and the results were disastrous.
But even through all those bad choices, His still worked out His plan. A lot of pain, heartache and delays could have been prevented had humans made the right choices. And sometimes things happen that aren’t a result of a choice we made, and we don’t understand, but it is not because God orchestrates it.
We can all say there are times we are not under the control of the Holy Spirit, either. Just like the Israelites, we sin and make mistakes. But we can praise Him because forgiveness is always there. Praise and thanksgiving bring us out of the pit we have fallen into because we can’t save ourselves.
Why should we praise God even in bad times? Because He is God, and He is the answer.
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).
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