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Is Praise Your Way of Life (Even When You Can’t Find Happiness?)

I’m frustrated this morning. Extremely frustrated. I lost my work keys last night. I found out that I was accused of sending spam “to get likes and follows” on a certain social media site, and I somehow got ahead a day in my daily Bible reading, so my schedule was thrown off. Then, I come in to my office to see that it has trash all over it, after I thought my kids had cleaned up a mess they left. I have to call several stores in a city an hour and a half away to see if possibly someone turned my keys in, then go retrieve them. To top it off, I went to get a cup of coffee and there is absolutely no water in the office Keurig. Even now, as I am writing this devotional about praising through frustration, my word document became non-responsive several times, and I thought I lost the document. I am frustrated. So what did I choose to do during this (relatively trivial) trial? I praised God. I’ve asked God for several days now, and even advised it to several people, to develop an attitude of praise through trial. And while my trials are not as big as some, I know the Lord is giving me an opportunity to praise Him in these annoyances.


IN every an all circumstance, yes, even our bad ones, we’re called to praise the Lord. The Apostles praised when they were persecuted, tortured and beaten, and on the way to their deaths. Praise was a way of life. Praise is not about our circumstances, it is all about who Jesus is. I don’t praise because I am happy about where I am right now. I’m not. I praise because Jesus is immovably on the throne. I praise because, in spite of my circumstances, He wins in the end. I praise because I look toward Jesus, not at my current situation. Loved ones, as believers in Christ, we need to be about the work of Christ, and part of that is giving glory to God in all circumstances. So I will choose to leverage this bad day in to praise, and, should I find myself driving BACK to Texarkana (If one of the stores I went to has my keys), I will praise there and back, even if I am a bit unhappy.


Philippians 1:3-2:11


I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.


Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.


Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.


Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.


2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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