The Bible tells us God is worthy of our praise. But what do we do when our life struggles make it hard to worship?

When Life Struggles Make it Hard to Worship

by April Dingle

“This is the day that the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

(Psalm 118: 24 ESV)

As a little girl, I often woke up and heard my mom singing this Scripture as she prepared herself for the new day at hand. The tune was quite catchy so I frequently found myself humming it later in the day, as well.

It wasn’t until I got a little older, grown up and dealing with life’s hardships, that I truly appreciated the lyrics in a new way. Military life can throw so many things at us that catch us by surprise. In those moments we can choose to give God glory in the midst of our messes or wallow around murmuring like the Israelites in the wilderness. Only one of the two options should be a believer’s response. But, we are all human, right? 

When It’s Hard to Worship

I think back to a time in my husband’s career where things were going well. He was cross-training into a new career he loved and enjoyed working with the people there. He worked hard at learning his craft and began to thrive in it. During this time he began to accept the call on his life and clung to his hope in Jesus. Suddenly, a monkey wrench was thrown into our story and we faced a circumstance that brought us to our knees.

In that season we could have punched our fists in the dirt or lifted our hands to The Holy God. Surely, in our stress, there were moments we had to be honest about our feelings of frustration, uncertainty, and even anger. Keeping up with the hustle and bustle left us weary and drained, disappointed, frustrated, and sometimes even downright upset.

But as followers of Jesus Christ, that’s not the life the Lord desires for us. Nor is it what he created his children to do. We are called to give him worship and praise; it should continually be in our mouths. The book of Revelation tells us,

“The Lord is worthy to receive glory and honor, and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

Revelation 4:11

Well, what pleases God? A life that brings him glory!

And what exactly is glory? Praise and worship!! Psalm 100:2 tells us to “serve the Lord with gladness!”

But, how can I serve him gladly if my focus is on fleshly things?

Choose to Worship

Choosing to worship the Lord is a conscious decision to seek him in every situation while being filled with joy knowing he is working for the good of his people. 

The first step is to command ourselves (yes, tell ourselves, make ourselves) do it.

I get it. Life often feels like a foe we struggle with every time the Lord opens our eyes. Yet, our response to Him for extending us the gift of living should be filled with gratitude and worship. The mere fact that he allows us to wake with the sun and live a day never to be seen or experienced the same way again far surpasses the tough places we feel stuck in or the pressing of uncomfortable times we face.

My life is pretty uncomfortable these days. Yet in my uncomfortableness I find myself choosing to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. I can hear a good friend Kori Yates saying, “God’s track record” is too good to forget the things he has done in the past. My focus immediately changes from the mountains I face to the God whose Word formed massive mountains.

My outlook on these temporary circumstances begins to change from impossible to He is possible! Paul reminds us in the book of Colossians that we have been raised with Christ. Then, he goes further to encourage us to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (I’ll never let the lie, “I’m so heavenly minded, I’m no earthly good,” speak into my soul again.) In fact, setting my mind on the things of God makes me seek after him and what he desires of me.  

Today is the Day to Worship

Knowing he desires my praise and worship in all things, good or bad, I am able to look at my burdens, cast them to a blessed and loving Father, and exchange the weight of them for a peace and a joy only he can give. Then, in the present, no matter my circumstances, he enables me to boldly exclaim, “today is the day the Lord has made, for this I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

I pray this Today is the Day, by Paul Baloche, will remind you of what to do when life struggles make it hard to worship.