Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. – Psalms 30:4-5 (NIV)
One of the hardest things to do is to give your best to someone or something when you are not feeling your best. When the day is long and patience is short and the pain of life seems overwhelming, sing to the Lord? That’s what the psalmist is getting at. Bringing the sacrifice of praise to God is not supposed to hinge on our mood, but that doesn’t jive with the ways of the world.
Too often we use worship and praise as personal therapy. We look forward to Sunday mornings because we enjoy the music and hope it will help us feel better. There is something profoundly important about worship being about God and God alone. Being disciplined about why we worship – because God is worthy – helps us keep a longer view of things. If we can worship God in the midst of our storm, it helps us hope for the sun to break through though we don’t yet see the light.
To develop this discipline in our children we need to ask ourselves on a regular basis why we worship. What is it about God that we need to praise Him for? Why is it important to praise Him even on our darkest day? It is not that we don’t know the answers to these questions, but emotion is hard to overcome when our knowledge doesn’t go deep enough. We and our children need to know why we love and worship God like we know the sun will come up in the morning.
Lord, help me to worship You as you deserve. Give me the strength and discipline to give you praise, even on the worst of days. May my children worship and rejoice in You all the days of their lives. Amen.