We do not tend to think in terms of ‘black and white’ concerning the things of life anymore, society is changing, and trying to change us with it. The boundaries have been set out a little further, shades of gray have replaced what is considered right and wrong, and the Scriptures are revealing themselves in truth, evil is being called good, and good is being called evil. (Isa. 5:20) The ‘what ifs’ are taking the place of ‘what is’ and what has been commanded is almost forgotten.
To think with deductive reasoning skills in both a linear and non-linear pattern can help us come to conclusions when faced with a difficult decision we must make, but if there are emotion considerations to take into account, we must be more intuitive, as it were, than just marching forward to ‘fix the problem.’ Think of the ‘fixer’ you know, he can work on the car, repair the kitchen sink, make the lawn mower work again and any number of other things that need repaired. But when matters of the heart are involved, it takes a special kind of fixer, when love is part of the equation, we must always be Christ-like, we must always seek the will of God.
When Daniel prayed for wisdom concerning the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel Chapter 2, and God answered his prayer, he did not immediately rush to the Kings throne room to give that interpretation, but instead blessed the name of God, thanked Him and gave Him the praise and honor He deserved. (vs.20-23) “Thou has made known unto me what we desired of thee.” Many of tend to do just the opposite of this, myself included, ask God for something, He answers in His wisdom, and then we move on with life. There is something very wrong with this picture.
Look at Luke 12:32 and see what it is the Father wants to give us, the Kingdom, the entire Kingdom of heaven. When we pray for something as menial as a sunny day for a wedding, for a better job opportunity to come to fruition, or even a different vehicle because the one we are driving now is getting old, and we neglect to thank Him, no matter what the answer is, how do you think that makes our Lord feel. “Here I have given you, my child, the entire Kingdom, and when this small minor item that is only temporal is denied from you in my wisdom, you cease to give me thanks and praise.”
There are things in our lives that we believe we are in control of, but when we lose that control through circumstance set in motion by our Lord, or our own ineptness, we tend to ask for His help, but forget to praise His wonderful name before even asking for whatever He is going to do in the situation. To think of praising is not a difficult task, to actually implement it can be extremely hard, especially when the path is unclear. Do we seek His face and praise His Name for the answer He is going to provide even when we truly don’t know the proper way to express the question?
I remember the first two days or so with my bout with cancer in the hospital, I was not a happy camper, so to speak. To tell you the truth, which I will always endeavor to do by the way, it really was not the cancer or even the pain that came with it that upset me so much, it was that I could not do anything at all about it. There I was and there I was going to stay, until I either walked out or went home to glory. My beautiful wife will tell you that when we are waiting in the roped-off, “cattle steering” area of the airport I ca be rather impatient, to say the least. So, you can imagine what it is like for a person for me to be trapped in not only a body that will not function properly, but also controlled by a host of doctors and nurses. Praise was not the first thing on my mind those first couple of days.
Sometimes when we think we are thinking correctly about something, we forget to ask for His wisdom, we dive ahead, ask for a quick blessing on something we have already decided to do, and praise will come if He blesses us in this area. (James 4:13) In too many cases “Thy will be done” has been replaced with “Bless me in this,” “If I only had this Lord, I could do that” instead of “You have blessed me, what is your will for me.” We are to seek His face continually in praise, whether He has placed us on the mountain top or in the valley, and remember, nothing grows on the mountain top.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Period. Are we not suppose to want because He is our shepherd, or are we not suppose to want because He graciously provides all of our needs, and a great deal of our wants. Is it because of the things that our Lord gives us that we praise His name, for if that is so I feel sorry for you when the trials and tribulations of loss, in no matter in what form He allows, come your way. We should praise His name because He is, not for what He can do for us. Will you seek Him only when you are in need, when you believe something is missing in your life that would make you happier, more content on the planet that is not your home anyway. Will you still want more when the new has become old, when the shiny thing no longer glows with the draw for you that it once had., will you praise His name when all that is left in your life is Him.
All of Our Lords attributes are worthy of praise, for He alone is Holy, just and righteous, and we rightfully give praise to Him because of these things. But, can we give him true praise in the hospital, when the news from the family is disheartening, when almost all of the words from those we thought were our friends are disparaging. Can we praise His Glorious Name in utter sorrow, in pain that is nearly unbearable, when deriding remarks that are untrue are flung at us.
To be honest, no, not at first blow, but the longer we are saved, as our Lord works in us the sanctification of His blessings, the further away the world and all that is in it becomes, and His face is all we seek, all we long for, and when all you can see is the Face of our Lord Jesus Christ, how can you do anything but express wonderful praise.