Do you ever have times in your life when it feels like God's not doing anything at all? You still pray, but it feels like each prayer only goes as far as your breath can carry it. During those seasons, and thank God they are only seasons, it's difficult to find a reason to praise. It seems like God has moved far away, isn't paying attention, or doesn't even care. While we know none of those are true, it's still hard to navigate. That's where faith comes in.
Maybe it helps to know you are not alone. The Complete Jewish Bible says in Psalms 77:6-9, will Adonai reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his grace permanently disappeared? Is his word to all generations done away? Has God forgotten to be compassionate? Has he, in anger withheld his mercy? Y'all - that's in the Bible! That means these types of feelings have been around for a very long time; they are not unique to us.
While it provides me with a little bit of comfort to know others have experienced these types of feelings and survived, it's what Asaph does next that matters. In verses 10-11 he says, Then I add, "that's my weakness, supposing that the Most High's right hand could change." So, I will remind myself of Yah's doings; yes, I will meditate on your work and think about what you have done. Asaph says, "I don't see you working, but I know you are working, God. So, I'm just going to remind myself of what I know you've done in the past." And then, what comes next is so powerful. Asaph praises God anyway. The next few verses are spent just talking about God's marvelous works.
You see, praising God doesn't depend on our circumstances. Whether we are in a good spot or a rough spot has no bearing on His goodness, His power, His grace, His mercy.... things we can praise Him for even in our "what ifs."
Today, I'm encouraging myself to go back and remember all the things God's done in the past. My meditations will be on the prayers He has answered, the times I knew that I knew that I knew He moved mountains. I'll praise Him for His power, His grace, mercy, and unfailing love no matter what I see or what it feels like "in here." We are in good shape, no matter what - since His attributes and power are not dependent on our circumstances. So, I'm going to praise Him anyway - will you join me?
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