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Praising God Even in the Midst of Difficult Times

by | Jul 20, 2023

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Today, the glittering facades of prosperity and self-interest have largely shrouded the sacred reverence and humble piety at the heart of Christianity. The Holy Scripture is often misinterpreted and misused to serve the interests of man rather than glorify the sovereignty of God. This perversion of Christianity equates God to a genie—a divine figure whose sole purpose is to fulfill human desires, as if the Creator is obligated to meet the whims of His creation.

We see this erroneous perspective manifest when one faces the death of a loved one, loses a job, or battles a debilitating disease. In such times, many question why a loving God would allow their suffering, or why their fervent prayers for health, security, or relief seemingly go unanswered. Herein, God is often viewed not as the Sovereign Lord of the universe, but as an earthly genie who failed to grant their wishes.

What a grave misunderstanding! God is not a celestial vending machine, dispensing blessings at the mere push of a prayer button. He is the Sovereign Creator, the Alpha and Omega, who transcends human comprehension and controls the intricacies of the universe with His infallible wisdom.

Christian discipleship isn’t a self-centered quest for personal satisfaction but a call to submit to God’s supreme authority joyfully. But unfortunately, when personal desires remain unfulfilled, some professed believers tend to overlook God’s graciousness or, worse still, point an accusing finger at Him.

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Many succumb to the illusion of self-reliance, seeking solace in their limited capacities. They mistake God’s sovereign will for apathy, failing to grasp the profound truth that “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV). Their actions reveal a dubious belief in God’s providential control and His promise that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

This distortion of the Christian faith is particularly pervasive in Word of Faith circles. They advocate a prosperity gospel that distorts God’s sovereignty and misconstrues faith as a currency to buy divine blessings. Rather than teaching prayer as an act of worship and submission to God’s will, it’s portrayed as a tool to claim material possessions and personal desires.

The tragic irony of this is that those who fail to receive their desired outcomes will often blame themselves for lack of faith. However, the sobering truth is not that their faith is too weak but too self-serving. Faith is not a golden ticket to prosperity but a humble recognition of God’s supremacy and a joyful submission to His divine plans—even when they’re in direct opposition to our own desires.

We must realize that Christianity is not a route to earthly reward but a journey toward spiritual growth and a relationship with our Creator—Christ alone is our reward. We are called to praise God, not for the fulfillment of our selfish desires but for His unfathomable love, immeasurable grace, and the hope of eternal life through Christ.

Absolutely, God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts surpass ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). We may not always comprehend His plans, but we can trust in His wisdom. He is sovereign over all things and upholds the entire universe by His word. He refines us through trials and tribulations, shaping us to reflect the image of Christ.

In the midst of chaos, confusion, and hardships, remember to joyfully praise God, not just for the blessings we receive but for His enduring faithfulness, sovereign will, and the promise of eternal life. Stand firm in our faith, not on the shifting sands of earthly desires but on the solid rock of God’s unchanging promise. And remember that God is not our servant to beckon at will, but our Sovereign Lord to whom we owe our absolute devotion, praise, and trust, regardless of our circumstances. Remembering that we have Christ as our reward already, and can never be snatched away from us, should give us peace and a joy that is incomprehensible by the world.

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