Spending time reading through the Psalms the past several weeks, I’ve been daily reminded that the pain and anxiety our family is experiencing right now is not uncommon. It is not unique. In fact, as much as I hate it, it is quite normal in a broken world like ours. It was something King David and the other Psalmists faced continually throughout their lives. With these writers, the experience of suffering is a reality for each of us this side of heaven.
And yet, what continues to grip me day in and day out as I study the Psalms is how the writers of the Psalms, even in the face of great pain and anguish, time and again, choose to lift their eyes and their hearts to the Lord in worship.
They choose to praise God in their pain.
They don’t wait for the pain to stop before they praise the Lord. No, they praise the Lord in the midst of their pain. These writers recognize there is nowhere else to go but to God in these times. They also recognize that our great God is worthy to be praised and worshipped in any and all circumstances.
I want to worship God like the Psalmists did.
Even in the face of great pain, I want to be a man who seeks to worship our merciful, sovereign, all-powerful Lord with great authenticity, passion and joy, even when things are hard. Even when I don’t “feel” like it.
What about you?
Psalm 100 reads,
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Notice in verse 5, we are given three reasons why the Lord is worthy of all our praise and all our worship, even in the face of suffering. Consider these with me for a moment. May they spur you on as you reflect on what it means and looks like to praise God in your own pain…
Reason #1: God is good.
Verse 5 begins, “For the Lord is good…”
To say that the Lord is good means that He has no evil in Him. It means His intentions and motivations are always good. He always does what is right and the outcome of His plan is always good, whether we see it that way or not.
Now hear this: Our enemy, Satan, knows that if he can get you to doubt God’s goodness, you won’t trust Him. And if you don’t trust Him, you won’t obey Him. I mean, why trust and obey a God who is trying to make you miserable?
We must be on our guard because this is the #1 attribute of God that Satan wants you to question and doubt: The goodness of God.
This is why the Bible speaks of God’s goodness all over the place. To remind us constantly that God is indeed good. And His goodness is reason to praise Him with both our lips and our lives.
Of course, the primary way we experience the goodness of God is through his love for us, which is the second reason why the Lord is worthy of all our praise and worship…
Reason #2: His steadfast love endures forever.
Verse 5 continues…”For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever…”
The phrase “steadfast love” here in verse 5 is the Hebrew word “hesed,” which comes from the Hebrew word for stork.
That’s right, stork.
You see the Hebrews noticed how storks had an uncommon love for and protection of their young. They built their nests securely in the high trees. And so they said, “God’s love for His own is like that!”
He nurtures us and protects us and feeds us. His love toward his people is steadfast, unmovable, unshakeable. What a God! How can we not sing to the Lord and praise His Name in light of His everlasting love?
This leads us to…
Reason #3: He is faithful to all generations.
Look at all of verse 5 together, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
We must understand this truth about the Lord: He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, which means his faithfulness to his people is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God isn’t moody.
We are moody. God isn’t.
He doesn’t act one way toward us one day and then depending on how he is feeling, act in a completely different manner the next. The theological term for this is immutability. It simply means, God never changes. How thankful I am for God’s immutability.
As verse 5 tells us, “…the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
Catch that? The Lord is faithful to all generations! He promises to show His unchanging love, compassion, grace and mercy to His people, His children, from generation to generation to generation.
Nothing can stop this. Nothing and no one can stop His love.
So, why should we respond to the Lord with praise, even in the midst of our pain? Because…
“…the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Ultimately, God displayed “his faithfulness to all generations” through the death of his Son on the cross for our sins.
“For Christ suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)
Christ died to make you and I worshippers. Not worshippers of "stuff." Not worshippers of ourselves. No, He died to make us worshippers of God. Our Maker. Our Creator. Our King. And He did this for His glory and our joy in Him.
We were made to worship God.
Even in the hardest and most difficult of circumstances.
Even in the face of suffering.
Even in the midst of pain.
Let’s praise Him in our pain.