I find Job so impressive. He was able to praise God when God was giving AND when God was taking away. Sometimes it can be easier to praise God when things are working in our favor. When things are going well and we are not distracted by huge challenges, we feel grateful for our blessings. But when we are feeling secure in our lives, do we remember to give God credit? We often become too proud of our own accomplishments and think that we have somehow earned what God has given. We forget to thank the one who is truly responsible for our blessings. We may forget that every gift is from above (James 1:17). I think of how the persecuted church prays for us that we do not become so complacent in our faith that we forget God.
How often do we praise God when things are going poorly? It is easy to become frustrated in difficult circumstances. We find ourselves doubting God or being angry at Him. The first response is not always to praise, but to cry for justice and mercy. Sometimes our response is to lash out at one another. We see throughout the Psalms how David cries out in anguish to God and complains about his circumstances. David always returns to praising God, but not before offering a few complaints. That gives us some hope as David was considered a man after God’s own heart! God will use all of our suffering for his glory.
Can you see beyond your own challenges and trust that God has your best interest at heart? Are you able to trust God so completely that you can praise trust Him when you are in the midst of a mess? That's our challenge!
Lord, May we be grateful for every gift you send. May we trust you to walk with us through difficult times, even when we can’t understand why things are happening. May we never forget to praise your name.