Praise in the Midst of Pandemic

Body

God loves a thankful heart. He loves the praises of His people. Praise has the power to lift our spirits in the midst of distress. The Bible says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

One of my daughters sent me a link to a new song based on the priestly blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26. The song focuses on God’s desire to bless His people all the time. The words include, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” The words reminded me of a funeral many years ago in which the deceased asked for this blessing to be given to all who attended the service. In sorrow and grief there is blessing!

In a world of pandemic, God’s people need to find reasons to praise! The God who created it all is still in charge of it all. There is nothing happening in our world that surprises Him. COVID-19 did not shock God or frustrate His plans. Our Father in heaven who watches every sparrow has His eye on you and I.

The weather has been beautiful. The rain has been wonderful. The supply of groceries is creeping back to normal. Fuel is cheap. Grass is deep. The river is strong. The park has been filled with families playing, biking and laughing. God is good, and life is good.

My wife, Jan, started humming an old song our family sang many years ago. Her tune prompted me to dust off the guitar and strum along. The words include, “Consider the lilies, they don’t toil or spin, yet there’s not a king with more splendor than them. Consider the sparrows, they don’t plant nor sow, but they’re fed by the Master, who watches them grow. We have a heavenly Father above, with eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love. He really cares when our head is bowed low, consider the lilies and then you will know.”

The words are taken from the message of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount at the end of Matthew 6. He repeatedly tells His disciples to not worry but to seek after God and His kingdom. We are to praise and not panic. We are to be confident and not complain. We are to focus on the blessings and not the struggles.

Paul and Silas had been thrown in prison. They were beaten for their faith and placed in chains. But then the text says, “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25). Sing, Church, sing! Praise the Lord in the midnights of life! It will strengthen you and bless others.