In Psalm 9:1-2 the psalmist writes: I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Although we were created to praise God, it seems easier for me to have a heart of praise when things are, to be honest, easier. Genuine praise flows from a heart that recognizes that God is continually faithful and good regardless of the circumstances we face.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 records: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer. Habakkuk understood that circumstances did not hinder God’s faithfulness to those who trust in Him.
Moving the focus from our circumstances and placing it on Christ takes intentional choice and practice. This means that we must be intentional about choosing to trust Christ rather than allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed or defeated by the circumstances of life. Through consistent practice, trust will become a habit and eventually a lifestyle that results in a heart that overflows with praise.
So, what is one thing you could put into practice to grow in your trust in Christ and develop a consistent heart of praise?
Reread Habakkuk 3:17-19. Notice the significance of the small word “yet” that appears between Habakkuk’s explanation of the circumstances and his choice to praise God. Now, let’s consider how we can make significant changes in our own lives by using that same word, “yet”.
For example, it was recently reported that over 50% of U.S. counties have been declared disaster areas because of excessive heat and drought conditions. Yet, Jeremiah 17:7-8 tells us: blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Even though your current situation may appear disastrous, God is in control and can be fully trusted.
In the most challenging situations God is still worthy of our praise. What are the circumstances in your life? What would it look like to praise God regardless of any circumstance?
“It looks like I’ll be losing my job next month: yet, I know God will comfort and provide for me. I praise You my faithful Savior.”
“My spouse is threatening to leave me: yet, You, O God, will never leave me or forsake me. I praise You for Your unfailing love.”
Developing a heart of praise begins by consistently practicing rejoicing in the strength Christ provides through the difficulties of life. As you voice your concerns to Christ, will you also choose to praise Him? Knowing that Jesus will see you through provides reason enough to praise!