In 2016, my husband, who is a soldier, had orders to leave me and our children for 18 months.
It wasn’t our first separation, but my soul was afraid. My heart was in pain. Still, I praised God.
One of the songs I sang, and I sang it often, was I Will Sing, by Kari Jobe.
I’ve posted the video of it at the end of this blog, so you too, can sing.
Listen to the lyrics, let them resonate with your soul, because we were not given this life to flutter through without trial and refinement. We were sent to earth to overcome adversary.
It’s when life is at its worse when our faith is tested. When in that place of pain and suffering, if we still praise God, if we still sing, he blesses us beyond anything we could imagine.
I’ve seen it.
For example, during the time my husband had to leave me, someone pressed the wrong button and demoted his pay. We lost $600 a month and it took months to fix. Five days after he left, we had a plumbing emergency that flooded our garage. The Hail Storm of ’16 hit San Antonio, and took out our roof. When taking out the trash one night, I was almost attacked by a loose dog. My mom bred Rottweilers. I LOVE dogs, but this vicious beast chased me to my front door. It’s only by the grace of God that I was able to close it in time. Shortly after that, someone attempted to break into our living room window. My husband’s dad died of cancer. I found out my dad died on Thanksgiving, right before I had to take my kids to the E.R. for strep throat because the clinics were closed. Through it all, I still sang praises to God. I had no family near, but it was by God’s mercy that I had a wonderful neighbor next door. Other than that, I was on my own, but I was never ALONE. God was with me. Then, an amazing thing happened. The 18 month separation was shortened to 15 months. My husband was requested to his new duty station early. It was an absolute blessing.
But we can’t only praise God when life feels good.
It’s under the dark clouds, in the muck and mire of hardship when he really tests our faith. If we can praise him there, the blessings that follow are incredible.
But here’s the tricky part…
This goes against prosperity doctrine, because when in the muck and mire, our praise has to be genuine. We can’t give just out of the expectancy to get.
That’s not giving at all!
When we praise God, especially through trials, we must do so like Habakkuk:
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines: even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flock and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! Habakkuk 3:17-18
It’s when the mountains crumble into the sea, and the oceans foam and roar (Psalm 46:2-3) when the worst is happening and we still praise God, THAT’S where true faith is birthed!
Birth is always painful.
Like wild horses, we have to broken in order to be trained enough to win a battle.
This is why God brings us to our knees; it’s to strengthen us to be able to carry out his will.
It’s painful, but worth it.
All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield. The LORD remembers us and will bless us. He will bless the people of Israel and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron. He will bless those who fear the LORD, both great and lowly. May the LORD richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth. The heavens belong to the LORD, but he has given the earth to all humanity. The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone to the silence of the grave. But we can praise the LORD both now and forever! Praise the LORD! Psalm 115:11-18
It’s interesting that God gave these verses to me on the night Parler was grotesquely censored. Here we are, living in America in the year 2021, and the first amendment seems to have been erased.
George Washington once said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
This Psalm proves more than that, “The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD, for they have gone to the silence of the grave.”
When we can’t speak, when we can’t sing, we might as well be dead.
Covid-19 has brought an immense level of persecution on the church.
Now, we’ve got entire monopolies deciding who can speak in the modern public square.
It’s an essential liberty to speak and to sing; a liberty given by God. No man should ever be able to, nor even want to take that away.
It is my belief that as a Christian, the earth is the LORD’s, and everyone in it (Psalm 24:1) therefore every voice, even the ones who say words I disagree with, deserves the right to speak. I’ll be announcing when Parler is up and running again. I pray it’ll be stronger than before.
The world seems to be on fire. Everything is crazy right now. There’s so much fear! But it’s all temporary.
Don’t lose your faith.
These are painful times, which means an incredible blessing is near.
No matter what happens during these turbulent times, I hope that wherever you are, you’ll join me in praising the LORD.
Sing Church, SING!