In today’s Monday Minute with God, Muriel shares with us how important it is to raise a hallelujah, even when life pulls the rug out from under us.
Raise a Hallelujah
by Muriel Gregory
It does not matter how many homecoming ceremonies I have attended or how callous my heart can become, I melt every time someone posts a video of military members returning home on social media. There is a sense of magic for that precise moment when eyes meet again after months apart and hearts are relieved of the burden of worries.
I was six years old. It is the first homecoming I can remember. My dad had been at sea for many months and I recall being anxious to see him. The ship finally entered the harbor. All the sailors, dressed in white, stood on deck. I stared at all of them until I located my dad. Unspeakable joy flooded my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Home. My daddy was home. All was well again in my world.
There is a time to worship–a time to rejoice over the job well done, the small victories along the way and the hardships endured. Life can be challenging and knock you down. As Mary Pickford would say, “this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Being knocked down gives us a chance to rise up, which in turn paves the way for our worship.
Let us raise a hallelujah!
“And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres.”
Our protagonist (Nehemiah) managed to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in a record 52 days! Quite impressive for 445 BC! If you read through the book of Nehemiah, you will soon realize that the rebuilding was about more than just the wall. You will also quickly notice that he had fierce opposition. As the saying goes, no good deeds go unpunished…
The work was done, and it was time for worship and rejoicing – dedicating the work of their hands to God. After all, worship is more than an emotion. It is the recognition of God’s active participation in our lives. It would be completely vain and prideful to think that we did it all on our own.
The Bible has a lot to say about worship.
It is at the core of our relationship with God. When I worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24), I am properly aligned with my Creator. Paul exhorts us to hold nothing back and even offer our bodies as an act of spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). The writer of Hebrews encourages us to offer a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). In short, all we do is for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Worship is more than a song. It is a heart gladly bent toward God in thanksgiving. Worship:
- keeps our gaze up.
- helps us focus on what we have.
- fosters gratitude.
- turns the hard places into reasons for hope.
Worship reminds me that I have a God who loves me and will fight for me.
Pause I believe in pausing. We rush through life too much, and we miss God. He is in the pause (Selah in the Psalms), in the moments when we pay attention to the here and now. So, pause and worship him right here and now. Be aware of his presence and how much he cares for you. Psalm 90:12
Submit “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1. When we offer ourselves completely, we reveal God’s worth and we become daily worshipers.
Worship Read Psalm 100 out loud and make it your worship song for the day. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:1-2
Remember that when life brings you down it is an opportunity to rise up and worship! How will you raise a hallelujah today?
Lord, you alone are worthy of all of my praise. I am thankful for the hard times (James 1:2) that mold me and perfect me. I am thankful for the friends who show up at the right time and most of all I am thankful for your steadfast love that will see through any storms. Amen.