When Tough Times Come
This is what the lord says: “let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that i am the lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these i delight,” declares the lord. - Jeremiah 9:23,24
Some rough and tough times may invade your marriage. Life is not smooth; upsets will come. You may wonder what the future holds for you and your partner.
What can you do when problems occur? It is simple. Praise God even when you do not know what will happen next. Praise Him for what He will do.
Such praise opens your life to some possibilities you may have never considered. By praising God, you not only become a risk taker, but you also become more aware of what He wants for you. This may be an uncomfortable idea for you.
It may mean that you praise God in an unpleasant job situation or during a difficult financial position.
It may mean praising God in spite of that taxing personal relationship you have in your family life. Perhaps you are troubled and perplexed about some situation. That is exactly when God wants you to praise Him.
When no answers or solutions seem to be available, and you face an immovable mountain, why not praise Him? What do you have to lose? You have already depleted your own answers.
Why not admit it and look elsewhere for solutions and have an attitude of acceptance? Lloyd Ogilvie offers an informative thought along this line: “Consistent praise over a period of time conditions us to receive what the Lord has been waiting patiently to reveal to us or release for us.”
We readily thank people after the fact or if we are guaranteed they will help us out of the predicament according to our plan.
To put our future in the hands of someone we cannot see or touch, however, and say, “Whatever You bring about in this matter, I praise You” is not typical. We resist, rebel and grate at the thought of praising God in every situation.
Think about it for a while before you discount the advice to give thanks “in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18). You may have read and heard this passage presented dozens of times and perhaps ignored it.
On occasion, we grasp at it during times of panic. What if this principle of praise became as regular as our daily eating routine? What might happen to us? It is worth a try.
First, consider who you are praising. Who is God to you? To some, God is a figment of a person’s imagination. To others, a stone deity. A proper concept of God is basic to your existence and to practical daily Christian living.
The best definition of God that has lasted through the years is found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. In answer to the question, “What is God?” the reply is: “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.” Why were you created? To know God.
What can bring you more contentment, joy, delight and peace than anything else? It is the knowledge of God, as the Scripture passage for today says.
When you and I rejoice in the Lord, we do not do it because we feel like it; it is an act of our wills, a commitment. When we rejoice in the Lord, we begin to see life from another viewpoint.
Praise is our means of gaining a new perspective and new guidance for our bogged-down lives. You may be thinking you are too busy during the day to stop and praise God.
That is just the time to do it, when you are too busy, fretful and overwhelmed. Stop, clear your mind and praise God.
You will feel refreshed. Praising God in advance of a solution is an act of faith, a way of saying, “I don’t know the outcome, but I am willing to trust.” This will be a great boost for your marriage.
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books