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Worship When We Hurt


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Oftentimes at church we sing songs about how God is good and that we will praise Jesus because of who He is. These songs are great, however to someone who is going through deep pain in life, these words may sting or taste bitter. How is someone supposed to praise God when they just lost their job, or worse yet, they lost a son to suicide or a daughter to drug over dose. Does God really want the family who lost everything in a fire to pretend to have a smile on their face and sing happy praises on Sunday morning? What about the family who maybe hasn’t experienced something traumatic but they live paycheck to paycheck and wonder how they will be able to keep affording groceries as their bills climb higher and higher each week. The mother who feels like no one notices her hard work throughout the week, is she supposed to worship God with a fake, happy face on Sunday morning?

No, Jesus does indeed want everyone to worship Him however there is a lack of understanding of what worship truly is. Worship is more than just saying how God is good. He is so much more than good. On a Sunday morning specifically, we want to sing songs about all of God’s attributes. For someone who is going through deep pain, they may want to sing a song about how God will walk with them through their pain. Worship is not just singing happy songs about God. God does not want you to just smile and pretend like everything is ok. Worship can be a time to cry out to God. A time to talk to Jesus. Worship is a time to give God thanks for what He has done and a time to wrestle with God. Jesus does not want you to put on a show and pretend that everything is ok on a Sunday morning. He wants your authentic heart communicating with Him. Psalm 51:15-17 states, “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (ESV) The Lord wants you to praise Him, but praising looks differently every single week. Sometimes you may cry and lift your hands in praise, other weeks, you may stand like stone dwelling on each verse as the lyrics wash over you. The Lord wants you to trust Him in all circumstances, even when it doesn’t make sense. He wants you to praise Him during your hardship and your times of joy. Everyday we are supposed to worship God for who He is. Understanding the different attributes of God will help us worship in all circumstances. Jesus is the Conqueror, Savior, Creator, Provider and so much more.

Jesus comforts those who are struggling. Psalm 34:18 reminds the believer that, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (ESV) To the lonely mother, He is a Friend. To the family trying to make ends meet, He is Provider. To the family who lost their home, He is a Firm Foundation. To the breadwinner who lost their job, He is the Bread of Life. To the grieving parent, He knows your deep unimaginable pain because He himself gave up his own life so many would have new life. He is Savior. During our time of worship, I encourage you to “run to the Father and fall in His arms.” Jesus encourages us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28. NIV) Our lives here on Earth may never be without sorrow or pain, however, for all those who believe in Jesus, we can praise Him for who He is and look forward to a beautiful, perfect life with Him in Heaven.