Worship leaders stand time after time and ask people to give our praise to God. But where does praise come from?
Peter has a lot to say about worship. In his first epistle, he makes a connection between trials and worship that we should not miss. Read 1 Peter 1:6-7:
“You rejoice in this, even though for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith – more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (CSB)
There it is – our praise is directly connected to the trials that we face every day. Peter was ultimately talking about the final day when we will lay all of our trials down and receive our eternal reward. On that day we will be able to see everything clearly and understand just what Jesus has saved us from and saved us for. It will be glorious. He was also helping us to see that a real connection between difficulties and worship exists for the child of God.
We don’t need to lose sight of the hope we have and the salvation that he is giving us as we face hardship. And when we need to find our praise, we need to look no further than all of the ways he has brought us through the difficulties of life. Maybe our worship grows weaker when we get too far away from hardship and that’s why we seem to have a steady dose of challenges coming our way. He loves us too much to let us grow distant through self-sufficiency.
Recently my family had an answer to a prayer we have been praying for two years. God – in his way and in his time – brought us through a trial that at times seemed like would never end. When I got the news that the matter had been resolved, no one had to tell me to give God my praise. I must have said, “Thank you, Lord” about 100 times over the next hour. Then, almost as much, I had to repent of holding on to fear instead of trusting God would take care of us in the storm. When I look back on it now, my response is one of worship because of God’s faithfulness in the trial.
Perhaps one of the ways we can encourage people to express their praise is to ask them to identify the trials they are experiencing and the faithfulness of God in them.
And when we are facing a trial, worship him in anticipation of his provision, knowing that when this is all over, the worship of our Savior will never end.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book (checkout his latest book: Worship Essentials). In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family (and his two new grand-babies). Visit MikeHarland.com to keep up with all that Mike has going on.