You may have noticed that things don’t always turn out the way you hope they will. And they almost always take longer than you want them to. In this world of instant everything, many of us have lost our ability to wait patiently. And yet, there are times when we must wait, whether we like it or not. As I told you last week, I have been ill recently, and because of a condition that may or may not be related, and that did not resolve itself within six weeks, my doctor sent me for a medical test. I waited a month for that appointment, and the results were inconclusive. So I was sent for a different medical test. Again inconclusive. A third test has been scheduled for next Tuesday. It has now been almost three months without answers, and frankly without any information about what the problem might be. I am still waiting.
Now if I were to be honest, I would have to admit that I don’t always have the best of attitudes in situations like this. I worry, and I often complain. Unfortunately, that only proves that I’m not as good as I would like to be at trusting God with the outcome. What should I do instead? As hard as it is sometimes, I should be praising God. King David had a lot of trials and struggles in his life too, so much more serious than mine, and he concluded that he should praise God continually. Early in Psalm 86, David was pleading with God for mercy, but in Psalm 86:12 he declared that he would give God praise with his whole heart and would honour His name continually. With his whole heart meant that David would be sincere in his praise; he wouldn’t just go through the motions. He could do that, because he had established a relationship with God, and knew that He was trustworthy. God had shown David His mercy many times before. David knew that he could trust God with his life and with the outcome to the situations he found himself in. Continually is pretty self-explanatory. At all times. In every situation. Since not all situations are good ones, David would honour God even when things weren’t going the way he wanted them to.
Moira Brown has said that, “Praise is the elevator that lifts us out of the pit of despair.” If we can praise God even in the tough times, we will be able to focus more on the goodness and faithfulness of God, the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever, (Hebrews 13:8) rather than dwelling on the challenges in our circumstances. I’m still working on it. How about you?