Have you ever looked outside, breathed in the fresh air of God’s touch, and suddenly felt praise rising up from some unknown place inside you?
Have you ever seen beauty that takes your breath away or felt another kind of praise overwhelming the dark places of your pain?
There is something to be said for the hollow place inside us that’s made to worship the One who made us. After all, the One who created our souls created the beauty surrounding us and the air that fills our lungs. He dwells in the praises that gush forth unbidden.
After a recent medical procedure that was labeled “minimally invasive,” my body carried a pain that felt very invasive, no matter how it had been labeled. I found myself sinking into that pain. The dark nights surged with shocking currents of pain. But into that darkness, from somewhere deep inside, praise for the God who still dwelt within me began to rise up.
And when the light of morning dawned, the beauty of fresh sunlight poured over my aching head, and a burst of fresh praise swelled up and overflowed. Yes, HE will stir praise in the midst of our pain. And HE will inhabit that very place of praise.
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3 ESV)
If you look into the meaning of the Hebrew word for “enthroned” at BibleHub, it says: “To sit down, to dwell, to remain, to settle.”
Will you join us this month in these four Scriptures and prayers? Even in the middle of our pain, we can praise the Creator of the Universe who dwells within our praises.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. (John 20:1)
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for understanding the grief and the confusion that hits us when we can’t see your full plan. How hard it must have been for Mary to find the stone removed, and your body missing. She could not understand what had happened. And there are days when we cannot see your full purposes, and we become so confused too. Oh, but thank you for meeting Mary, and revealing your wondrous plan: YOU arose and defeated death! Help us to trust that you have risen for us also. We praise you today, in the middle of our own hard places. You are the Glorious Lord reigning over all!
In your name, we pray,
Though the fig tree does not bud and no fruit is on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the sheep are cut off from the fold and no cattle are in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
We come before You today admitting that we are facing hopeless situations. Everywhere we look we see another trial, another pain. Would you help us to look up to you, just as Habakkuk did? He saw that YOU are the God of true salvation. Thank you that we have been rescued out of darkness to live with you, our only hope. We exult and praise you, our God.
In the name of Jesus, we pray,
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 43:5)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for understanding how heavy our hearts would become. You have been so gracious to meet us with words that describe exactly how we feel. Our thoughts are disturbed with the state of this world. Our soul is downcast with the weight of the pain we carry. But thank you for the hope you have given! We will still praise you, we will yet worship you, because you have brought us your salvation. We praise you our true Lord of life.
In the name of your son, Jesus, we pray,
Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. (Psalm 3:2-3)
Dear Lord God,
We come before you now confessing the agony that falls upon us some days. Even those around us cannot find a way for our help to be found. But we thank you for the shield that YOU place around us: your own glory. We praise you here as you lift our hearts. You are the one we look up toward. We give you all of our praise today.
In the name of your son, Jesus, we pray,
Chronic Joy Contributing Writer
You can find Bettie blogging from her home in the far north suburbs of Chicago at bettiegsraseasons.com. She is walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her pain and weakness from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature as well as her family (including nine young grandchildren) are Bettie's joys. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great delight in their weekend coffee breaks together.
Chronic Joy® devotionals are an invitation to take one gentle step, to pray in a comforting and familiar or perhaps new-to-you way, or to cry out on behalf of one precious life today … maybe even yours.
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