At times, we endure heart crushing experiences. Our mind is sent reeling. While thoughts swim in a sea of words with no focus, we struggle to function in small tasks. The pain twists our heart like a wet rag. Everything that we thought our life to be is thrown into question. Every task seems useless, every encounter painfully empty. Nothing seems worth enduring. Sorrow … anguish … longing threaten to shut us down. Who do I think that I am to suggest praise at such times?

This is the challenge of a believer. When all goes horribly wrong, has God turned against us? When life has morphed into a bad dream, has God left us to fend for ourselves? Some will dare to suggest that such experiences will not happen to a faithful follower, but Biblical and historical accounts of suffering saints tell us that even favored friends of God can suffer such grief. Saint like followers have one thing in common. They do not cease to praise and worship God because of their experiences. In fact, they increase blessing Him, encouraging themselves in faith by so doing.

The major message is this: bless, bless, bless Him- no matter what happens. Frequently doing so in pain is followed by relief, but even if it is not: bless, bless, bless the Beloved. In this He knows that you do not just delight in Him because of what He does for you, but because you love Him- because of who He is. Eventually, a treasure of intimate experience awaits the one who praises God while suffering. Deeper joy lies beneath the darkness of sorrow. Your praises will be noticed by the King. You will taste moments of your own courage and drink from the fountain of His compassion, the taste being sweeter than you can imagine. In the night, He reveals His Light. In adversity, you will know the sweetness of true Love. Even while the anguish is still present, a new joy will coexist that comforts you in a place where your soul always longed to be known.

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