Saturday, March 17, 2018

I no longer "Choose Joy"

I Choose Worship.

So why Choose Worship? Why do I no longer "Choose Joy"?

Choosing joy sounds like it is from within me that I am working to find joy. Choosing joy sounds like I am working to find joy in a struggle or situation that might not have joy.

Worship puts the focus on God. Worship focuses on who God is and his character. I am no longer dwelling on me but looking to God.

Worship takes my eyes away from my situations and struggles. It is easy to look at our situation and the struggles and not see God in the midst of it.

So a few months ago I was struggling. Things were difficult. I did not choose joy. In fact I did not have any joy. I was not even looking for joy. I was crying out to God to work in the situation, praying, reflecting on how God has worked in the past.

I love reflecting on Exodus and how God rescued his people in his time and in his way. He heard their cries and acted.

Anyway, my prayer turned to worship and worship gave way to joy. I had not planned to have joy. I was worshipping. The situation had not changed. It was still difficult but I had focused on God. I looked away from my struggle and saw God.

Paul and Silas where in prison as recorded in Acts 16. They found themselves in a difficult situation. They were active in worship though praying and signing hymns. This worship was directed to God. They did it not expecting an earthquake and to be released. The response to difficult situations was to worship. Joy came but as a result of worship.

David had this same understanding of praise and worship. In the beginning of Palm 69 David cries to God, "Save me." (verse 1) He further describes the situation with words like I sink, come into deep water, the flood sweeps over me, and many others words that describe a difficult situation and a struggle. But as we look at the end of the Psalm David is saying, "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving." (verse 30) David's response is one of praise and worship.

So worship does lead to joy but it comes from focusing on God, what he has done in the past and with confidence of who he is in the midst of our struggles.

How can you worship God in the difficult situations and struggles of life?

Begin by singing hymns and songs that focus on who God is and what he does. Hymns like "Amazing Grace", "How Great Thou Art," "It is Well," and so many others can begin to draw our focus away from our situation and focus on God.

The other aspect of worship is praise and prayer. Praise God for who he is and what he has done.  Recall through both in your own life and through the Bible the many wonderful things that God has done.

As you worship, you will find that you have joy.

How about you today, do you have a difficult situation, can you choose to worship.

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