There is only one thing that comes to mind when considering how we can lose within ourselves the joy and desire to praise the name of the Lord our God.
It is not trials, tribulations and temptations, it is not grief, sorrow and moments of despair, it is not suffering, pain, persecutions, not being ostracized by those we considered our friends, the rebukes of the wicked, not the hatred of the world. It is not when we are in the valley of the shadow of death.
We can lose our joy and desire to praise the name of the Most High God when we choose to stop accepting His will in our lives.
There are two verses, two among many that I would ask you to contemplate at length here.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:11)
Also, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
The mind that serves Christ can be swayed by the flesh that is being tormented, pain my friends is a great persuader.
I do not know why Satan did not kill Job’s wife as well, but by taking from him everything else in his life he brought grief to him that few have ever experienced. When that did not cause Job to curse God, when it did not remove his joy and praise, he brought all he had left, physical pain.
When inconsolable grief and sorrow encompasses us and there is no relief from it, when the physical pain can only be alleviated by death, and death is not sent to bring us home to glory, joy and praise of our Father in heaven may be surrendered to the moment.
That is the moment that Satan hopes for, and that is the moment you must be made aware of, while the sun is shining and the sky is blue.
Job of course is not the only example of these truths, there are numerous others, and we would do well to heed them.
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
“In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19)
Not accepting the will of God in our lives, no matter what His will is for us, is doubting His Sovereignty over our lives, is refusing to die to self, it is the servant refusing what his Master offers, and it will not only stop your lips and heart from praising His Holy name, it will cause the joy you thought you had, the joy that was so easily accepted when life was going as you wanted it to, to turn to not just doubt, not just to questionings, but to a desire to no longer serve.
It is possible that your supposed love for the Lord will be turned into a hatred, much as Absalom’s was for Tamar after his lust was fulfilled.
You may be shown that you are the chaff.
I cannot emphasize Job’s words here enough, “What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10)
When the Lord will not answer your prayers like you want Him to, when there is no end in sight to that valley, if you do not continue to honestly praise His name, then my friends, to put it bluntly, you never knew the joy of the Lord in the first place.
I will leave you with a verse that if you have read these letters lately you should know by heart, the question is, if you are experiencing great sorrow, if your physical pain will not abate, if the Lord has decided that you are to die at the rich man’s gate, will you still praise His name, is He still your joy?
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” (Job 13:15a)