Thursday, March 1, 2007

Praise Him Win or Lose

I woke up and shot out of bed this morning at 4:00 a.m. with the mother-of-all leg cramps. What made this one special was that I pulled my calf muscle last night playing volleyball; putting pressure on the leg or foot was virtually impossible. I literally cried out "Jesus!!!" as if to let Him know His servant was in agony and if He wouldn't mind terribly, would He be willing to consider healing my cramp. In other words, "Help!!!" - the pain was getting worse and I didn't see any way to make it stop. For some reason an unusual thought came to mind in the midst of this... 'Praise Him!' Rather than take the time to debate this with myself, I changed my cry from "Help! Jesus?!" to "Praise Jesus!" The muscle loosened up almost immediately, the cramp disappeared and I sank to the floor continuing to praise Him.

I knew the movie Facing the Giants had made an impression on me, but I'm thankful it's main message was so clear I was able to apply it under duress - "When we win, we praise Him. When we lose, we still praise Him!" Praise is distinct from thanks. We praise God for who He is, while we thank Him for what He has done. If you're going through a rough time and feel like you have little to be thankful about... praise Him anyway!
Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV) - Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) - Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

No comments: