Is it possible to praise God in the storms of marriage?
Last week I was looking at some old photos and thought “Lord, you have brought me from a mighty long way.”
You see, I was born and brought up in the African countryside. No electricity, running water, tarmac roads, phones or TV, indoor plumbing or other ‘necessities.’
I was the classic village tom-boy, scruffy shorts and horrid hair, burning charcoal and collecting firewood, tilling land by hand and taking care of farm animals.
Looking at my old pictures, I was struck by how quickly I forget the distance I have traveled over the years.
Whenever I am going through challenges, I easily fixate on the things not done and the prayers not answered and forget the things God has already accomplished in my life.
Forgetting God’s faithfulness
In marriage, it’s easy to forget the good times the moment we hit a bump on the road. Indeed some bumps knock the wind out of us and it’s okay to take a minute to recover.
However, we tend to agonize over the struggles for so long we forget the victories we have won.
Lately God has been reminding me there’s a lot to be grateful for, even in challenges.
One wife might be complaining about picking up after her spouse..while someone else is praying for a spouse or grieving the loss of one.
Another wife might be fretting about the extra hours her husband has to work while someone else has just lost their job.
I was stressing about the future forgetting there was a time I couldn’t think beyond the moment because life was so hard.
Here’s my point – no matter where we are and if we look hard enough, we can find something to be grateful for, instead of something to complain about.
I know that’s a tough saying but hear me: practicing gratitude, praising God is not a way to escape reality. Praising God in the middle of your valley reminds your heart that God is still with you.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Psalm 23: 1, 4
But here’s the challenge…how do you break through to praise when you are hurt or disappointed?
Let me tell you something that works for me.
When your heart is burdened and you don’t feel like talking to God or being grateful, you can put on some praise songs and sing along.
You can allow His Presence to begin to change the atmosphere of your heart and mind.
The powerful thing about praise is that it removes the focus off ourselves and our situation and puts God where He needs to be; at the center of our lives.
I don’t know what you are going through in your marriage or life.
But I want to encourage you, God is bigger than what you are facing.
He is bigger than the report you’ve received, He’s bigger than all those terrible outcomes playing through your mind.
Just because you are going through trouble doesn’t mean God has abandoned you.
Romans 8: 35b, 37 says
“Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
You don’t have to understand everything to praise God.
Why is praise so important?
Because God is worthy of our praise, that’s why. Also, a thankful heart helps walk through challenges without folding up.
Andrew Wommack, in his article The Effects Of Praise says,
“How do you keep from focusing on the problem when you are in pain or have no money? The most important thing you can do is praise God.
A negative, complaining attitude won’t change overnight, but beginning to praise God will start the transformation in your attitude.
If you have always been negative, you must practice thinking on positive things. Philippians 4:4 tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
Praise will push you into the spiritual realm to see what God has done for you. Paul and Silas praised God in prison. It was the praise that released the power of God and the earthquake that delivered them from their captivity. “
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