Summary: Praising the Lord should not depend on the circumstances of your life
20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshipped.
21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed (or Praise) be the name of the Lord.”
22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
When we consider the topic of praise, we need to first come to the realization that praise is the highest work carried out by God’s children. And then we need to realize that God’s throne is the highest point in the entire universe, and so the praises that we lift to Him actually reaches up to the highest point possible—the throne of God. How important is praise? Just ask King David, in the Psalms he says that he prayed to God three times a day, but also in the Psalms he said that he praised God seven times a day. He praised God twiced as much as he prayed to God.
We should not only pray to God but also all the more learn to praise God, and one thing for sure—we need to learn how to praise Him when life has become a struggle, when we are afflicted by one thing after the other. Here’s a fact that you probably are already aware of, but in case you aren’t let me give you a personal newsbreak… life is painful! Anyone who says otherwise is selling something to you that you really cannot afford to buy! Life is a struggle, not just a struggle but let me add it is a daily struggle.
I believe that all of us, primarily those of us that have reached the age of adulthood have lost some things. Some of us (especially nowadays) have lost homes, cars, money & relationships. We’ve not only lost some things, we’ve lost some people through death, divorce, division, distance, decision to discontinue, or desertion we’ve lost some people too haven’t we? We’ve lost some serious love connections like our fathers, our mothers, a wife or a husband, a child, a sister or a brother—a very close relative or friend, through the years we’ve lost them one by one. If we were to take a moment this morning and conduct a brief inventory of our lives I know that we would come to the conclusion that we have experienced possibly some great lost in our lives.
The lost of anything can be painful, overwhelming, and overbearing. Losing something or someone has caused many people to go into what is known as clinical depression. Losing something or someone has even caused some of us to question God. It has made us wonder, does He really care? There’s somebody here this morning that has lost something, maybe a job that you’ve worked on for many years—you’ve gotten so used to that big paycheck every other Friday. And now you have to settle for that measly unemployment check from the state. We’ve lost some things, we lost some people, some possessions, some positions, and some of us have lost our pride. Used to be a time when the only thing you downsized was soda and an order fries.
But now you have downsize everything the car, the house or apartment you live, the clothes you wear, the food you eat almost everything has to be down-sized because you lost some things. It’s not because you’ve anything wrong, it’s just that life can throw a curve at us sometimes. But you ought be able this morning while you’re sitting here in God’s house to say that I may have lost some people, some possessions, a position, or a privilege, but through it all—I never lost my praise! Some of the things just in the last year, other people going through the same thing has lost their mind and some even tried to take their own lives—but you’re here this morning with less than what you used to have, but you still have your praise!
Now you may not be happy, because to happy depends on what’s happening. But you still have your joy—the Word says consider it joy when you’re going various trials. Didn’t say be happy about it, but consider it joy—why? Because “Knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Somebody here can say, “I’ve lost some things, but I never lost my joy!
Some people, when they lose something or somebody—their faith is challenged. And that’s normal [believe it or not] it is normal. But if you walk completely away from God, you didn’t have any faith in the first place. I just believe [deep down in my heart this morning] there’s somebody here that can say although I’ve lost some people and some things. Although I’ve been through the storm and the rain, I’ve with heartaches and pain, I’ve had some ups and some downs, and I’ve been leveled to the ground. Despite all of that, I’ve never lost my faith. The late great Dr. E. K. Bailey used to say, “Faith is acting like it is so, even if it ain’t so, in order for it to be so” –praise & thanksgiving in the midst of adversity.