August 7, 2013
Moments Like These
"Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name." Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)
My eyes caught hers as I was leaving the room. The somber look on her face revealed her heavy heart. I gave her a questioning look to which she simply shook her head "no." We'd been praying for her to receive some good news, a "yes" to an opportunity she'd been working hard to get. The call had come; she'd been denied.
I recognized her pain. Its name: rejection. Like my friend, I waited for a similar call, only to be turned down too.
Perhaps you have met the unwelcome intruder, rejection, as well.
You work hard to earn a promotion, only to be over-looked. You aim to be a loving wife, yet your husband still leaves. Well-intended friends assure us with words like, "God's plans and timing are perfect." With great compassion they tell us, "Keep trusting God." But sometimes, when rejection hits hard, we need a boost to our trust. We need something when we're in the pit. Moments like these are made for praise.
Praise heals brokenness in a way words alone cannot. When we praise through our pain, God supernaturally empowers us to do what seems impossible: rise above our circumstances. Our praise redirects our focus on Him rather than our rejection, and reminds us that God always welcomes us into His presence.
Praising God is easy when life is full of happiness and success. However, when we're dealing with rejection, praising God can be difficult; it can feel like a sacrifice. It's not necessarily easy to offer a heart of thanks when we feel like we don't have much to be grateful for. However, the writer of Hebrews advises us to "continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips" (Hebrews 13:15b). Just like fruit is sweet and pleasing to our taste, praise is sweet and pleasing to the Lord.
Praising through the pain (and if we're honest, sometimes through the self-pity) seems to take strength we don't have to give. But the author of Hebrews 13:15 tells us our ability to praise in hard moments comes through Jesus.
As we tap into His power, our sacrifice of praise will generate more strength to praise, which will generate more praise. It is a beautiful cycle! Praise lifts our eyes from the rejection and sets it on all we have in Jesus: peace, comfort and acceptance.
Later that week I texted my friend to see how she was doing. She'd taken time alone for praise and the pain of my friend's rejection had begun to ease. Did her troubles disappear? Was her rejection turned into acceptance? No. But her sorrow was turned to joy as she focused on praise, that was sweet and pleasing to her Lord.
Dear Lord, thank You for supplying all I need all the time. You even give me strength to praise. What an awesome God You are! Help me to remember the truth I learned today when rejection comes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow Bible Study by Wendy Pope
If you're looking for an in-depth Bible study that fits in the busyness of your schedule, dive into God's Word with Wendy's online class of Psalm 70-82. Don't miss this exciting adventure that begins September 9. To register click here and scroll down to "Fall Study."
Reflect and Respond:
What is your typical response when dealing with rejection?
Today, sit alone and praise the LORD. Praise until praise generates more praise.
Psalm 7:17, "I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High."
Psalm 21:13, "Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength! We will sing and praise Your power."
© 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.