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The Worship Lifestyle

4 Effective Praise Strategies When Giving Thanks to God Feels Hard

When hard times come, many believers struggle with giving thanks to God when everything seems to be going from bad to worse! At some point or another, every believer has to battle to find the joy of the Lord and to worship during difficult seasons. While those are normal, human responses, the Word of God, the light in the darkness (Psalm 119:105), provides a spiritual response that challenges believers to put their faith over their feelings.

“Rejoice always,” Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica. Always? “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God, in Christ Jesus, concerning you.” But does that literally mean to give thanks to God for ALL things, even the bad things? (1 Thess. 5:16 & 18)

Of course not! But how do you thank God for every blessing when you can’t see any?

If you’re spending more time fighting in the flesh than in the spirit, you may win the fights, but you will lose the war.

~Alicia Purdy

Paul, who experienced an ongoing string of problems, issues and attacks wrote that believers must learn to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7), because he knew that living life according to your feelings is the fastest way to fail at everything.

Of course, the Bible never says giving thanks to God for things that are evil, painful and destructive is what He expects because bad things don’t come from God.

Gratitude to the Lord is a Spiritual Discipline

Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever,” the Psalmist wrote. (Psalm 136:1)

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no change or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

The Bible is replete with the goodness of God and promises that His goodness will never change and nowhere in the Bible does it say that God causes bad things to happen for your “good”. In fact, He brings purpose and “works out” those bad things for your good as you walk according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28), but it is unScriptural to say that God causes bad things when, in reality, the Bible says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

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In reality, it can be hard to think about gratitude to God when everything is crumbling around you. When you’re spiritually depleted, you’re vulnerable to attacks of the enemy, but if you keep your heart focused on gratefulness to the Lord in worship, you’ll find renewed strength.

Your faith will always conflict with your feelings, and you’ll have to discipline yourself to turn to the Lord in worship when things are hard, but as you do, you’ll find the joy, strength, peace, endurance and other supernatural strengths that come directly from being in God’s presence.

4 Spiritual Strategies for Giving Thanks to God When Praise Feels Hard

1. Enter into His Gates with Thanksgiving

Gratitude is the point of origin for all praise. Maybe you don’t feel like there is a reason to praise right now, but you have move past your feelings so you can stay in faith. That means you know God is good, even though life is sometimes.

That also means that there is always a reason to give thanks to God, even if it is simply that you are still alive today. Nowhere in the Bible does is say that life would be easy. Jesus promised life in the fallen world would be filled with tribulations. (John 16:33)

Human beings have free will to make good and evil choices that affect everyone. Remember that God doesn’t cause evil things. He uses the world’s evils to produce His good in your life! (Romans 8:28) You worship a God who calms the storms, sets captives free, rescues, restores and more! (Psalm 40:1-3) Gratitude expressed in praise before you see the promise is the kind of faith that truly partners with God!

2. Dwell in His Presence Daily

Your faith will never thrive in an environment where it is never fed. The Word of God is the lamp that will guide your steps. Prayer, the Bible does say that in those things, through them and beyond them the Lord will create good things and work out bad things for the good of those who walk according to His plan.

Psalm 22:3 says that, “The Lord dwells within the praises of His people.” That means when you worship with others and by yourself, you are creating a spiritual atmosphere that God’s presence is welcomed. If you’re in a hard season, you need a more dynamic encounter with His presence and worship sets the tone for that communion between you and Him.

Psalm 91:1 says that when you dwell in the ‘secret place’ of the Almighty God, you’ll thrive under the shadow of His presence. That is an experience that the natural mind cannot comprehend. Giving thanks to God opens the spiritual atmosphere and the harder it gets, the more you’ll need that supernatural power of praise. Jude wrote, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 1:20)

But don’t wait until you need faith to get faith! Dwelling daily in the presence of God is a faith-building strategy, but if you’re weak and depleted when hard times come (and they will), your fight of faith will reflect your spiritual condition. God is strong enough, of course! But He gave you the strategies to fight the enemy and win. Get into His presence now and make it part of your daily lifestyle.

3. Use Worship as Warfare

Spiritual warfare in worship is a winning battle strategy against the flesh, but as you fight, remember, you have an enemy who is using the world’s systems against you as well. The good news is, the same weapons will bring you victory over him as well, so learn to use them!

When you commit to giving thanks to God in all things, you’re already on the warpath against the enemy. God has plans for victory on multiple fronts in every battle, so as the enemy increases the pressure, you must do the same by pressing into in the presence of God. If you truly believe that God is able, put your faith into action through worship in spite of what you see and feel.

…as the enemy increases the pressure, you must do the same by pressing into in the presence of God.

~Alicia Purdy

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul wrote that, “…the will of God in Christ Jesus” is that you give thanks to the Lord. Giving thanks to God in all things is not something you do because LIFE is always good, but because GOD is always good.

You won’t overcome your situation through willpower, and you can’t fight a spiritual enemy with natural weapons. The word of your testimony and the blood of the Lamb is how you’ll overcome, (Revelation 12:11) and “With the high praises of God” in your mouth (Psalm 149:6-7) and the living, active Word of God as your sword.

4. Put Your Testimony into Song

Psalm 119:54 says, “Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my temporary dwelling.” (MEV)

This season will not last forever and you are not alone as you walk through it. What the enemy meant for evil, the Lord will work for your benefit. (Genesis 50:20) That is a promise. But what happens in the meantime? You worship and give thanks to the Lord as you await His rescue. The life-changing benefits of worshipping God go beyond what you could ever ask or imagine.

This is the season to fill your mouth with the Word of God, to sing to Him about your gratitude for what He has already done and to declare your faith in His faithfulness. When it feels like there is nothing to give thanks to God for, you can and should always express your gratitude to God for who He is!

The power of gratitude to the Lord is seen in your worship as a faith action, which will confront your doubt and fears, thanking Him for getting you through everything (even if you’re not through it all yet), being with you through it all, being a refuge and a place to run and hide. He will perform what He has promised you. (Jeremiah 1:12 MEV)

Thought for today: Gratitude to the Lord is Faith in Action

Giving thanks to God in all things takes spiritual discipline because you’ll need to develop the ability to see things the way He does. It is an action that takes place outside of yourself, outside of what you’re going through and outside of what you feel. Worship cannot be based on how you feel or, let’s be honest, most people wouldn’t worship because they’re too overwhelmed, hurt, angry, tired and busy.

D.L. Moody once said, “The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle to fight.”

Worship is war so don’t fight alone! Giving thanks to God is the will of the Father for you because He wants you to win! If you’re spending more time fighting in the flesh than in the spirit, you may win the fights, but you will lose the war. Giving thanks to God in everything by worshipping Him is your secret source of strength, and as you press into that, you’ll find that the hardest part of the battle has already been won!

Keep Moving Forward in Faith and Worship in the War! Here’s Another Battle Strategy:

“Fighting in Faith to Find the Peace of God Within You”

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Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!

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