I’m not sure about you, but I can be a worrier. It’s easy to let the cares of this world overwhelm us and cloud our vision. As a Christian I shouldn’t be surprised by this; Jesus promised in John 16:33 that we would have trouble. I’m so glad he didn’t stop there, as he continued he said, “be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”
Be of good cheer? Even though I don’t feel like it? The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” You see it is not our circumstances we rejoice in, it is in our Savior. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever and promises never to “leave us or forsake us”.
Consider Paul and Silas in Acts 16 sitting in a Philippians jail, bound and chained for doing the work God had called them to. If anyone deserved to be upset about their circumstances it was these two. However, they chose not to see their circumstances, but to pray and sing praises to God. Through this small act of praise, God brought an earthquake that loosed there bonds and broke open their prison doors. You may not find yourself in physical prison, but in a prison of your own mind, bound by the shackles of your failures. Realize your responsibility is not to praise God once he has broken through, but to praise God for who he is and see your entire view change as the burdens fall away.
An amazing thing happened at the end of the story in Acts 16, Paul and Silas’ praise resulted in the jailer and his entire family believing on Jesus Christ. You see, there is a world full of people out there who need us to take our eyes off of ourselves and show them that there is hope, joy, peace, and rest in Jesus Christ. Maybe you’re in a mess; either one you created or circumstances outside of your control; the only thing to do is look up and praise the Lord. Praise him because of who He is: our Father, our Creator, our Healer, our Sustainer, who is infinite, eternal, unchangeable, all-wise, holy, just, and good. As the hymn-writer put it;
Count your blessings,
Name them one by one,
And it will surprise you,
What the Lord has done.
Ps 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”