50 days of Hope, Day 15 : You can’t praise God when you’re dead

So here’s the thing. Even when we believe in the hope and we know that it’s true and we are walking close, it is still hard. Life does not become any easier. Complicated situations remain complicated situations.

Today, circumstances are pressing down on me and although nothing has changed at a foundational level, it’s a tough day.

I don’t know where to go to escape from the anxiety. I want answers to questions and the answers aren’t available. I want situations to change and they aren’t changing. I want what others have, not what I have.

This afternoon I took some steps to find my way through to peace again. I emailed a request for prayer to someone I feel I can go to for pastoral care. Then I put on music which expressed for me the emotions that I couldn’t. And then I turned to my bible. Perhaps I got the order wrong, because as soon as I began to read God’s word my perspective was changed. The verses I was brought to today were Psalm 115 v 17-18; verses about the dead not being able to praise God. What a strange verse. It seemed to me as I thought about it that the Psalmist was pulling out a single contrast between the dead and the living. The single most significant difference between the dead and the living to the Psalmist, is that the living can praise God.

And so, when I am feeling quite lost and can’t see the point or purpose in my days, I can know this one thing – I am alive, and if I praise God that is all that it takes for my life to have meaning this day.  I don’t know if that makes sense to you at all, but it gives me hope.

Psalm 71:14 “But I will hope continually and will praise you more and more.”

My hope is not shaken despite circumstances – what I now need to do is to actively increase my praise of God. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I have a sense that once I begin to do it, it will be like breathing and I’ll wonder how I ever lived without it.




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