I don't know where it started. Somewhere along the line, our situations or circumstances started to determine our actions and emotions. What is happening in our lives started to determine our happiness. Then, we started to only praise God when good things are occurring.
The thing is life isn't always good. Trust me, I wish it was. Reality is that hurt, trials, and pain will come. The rest of the world will tell you that it's okay to let that control you. Let your circumstance control you. Well, we are not supposed to be conformed to this world. We are called to transform.
Now, it was way easier to agree with me on the last post. It is beautiful and even fun to look for what God is doing in each of our lives. The thing is God winks don't always happen overnight. Sometimes, they take days, weeks, months, and even years to develop. Sometimes, we will look back on all that God has brought us through and that is enough of a God wink to keep going. Other times, years down the line, we get to see God's purpose in all of it. Then, we see God's wink and we can't help but laugh because we realize He was with us all along.
I know you are probably reading this like what does this twenty something know about hurt or about trials or about pain. A lot more than I'd like to admit. A huge part of my testimony is that I was molested for three years, but that is not my WHOLE story by the grace of God.
In my own life, it took years to see God's purpose and wink from that hurt. I have seen God open doors for me to show women who have experienced the same hurt as me, the healing that is in Jesus Christ. God has given me a heart and love for women in ministry and the medical field that comes from past experiences. He has given me the ability to care and to love in a way that I couldn't before. The most difficult thing I have learned is that I must praise God in the process. Even when I can't see His purpose, I must choose to praise God in advance.
Have y'all ever heard the song "Praise Him in Advance" by Marvin Sapp? I love it because it reminds me that my situation does not determine if I will praise God. I will praise Him in the good and in the bad. I love the part of the song where it says "Praise will confuse the enemy." Honestly, from the outside looking in, it doesn't make sense to praise God when things are falling apart. But, when you think about who God is. Think about His character, His love, and His grace. Think about all the other God winks and times God has proven Himself to you. It makes it easier to praise Him in the process and to praise Him in advance.
"God has made everything beautiful in its time" -Ecclesiastes 3:11
In. His. Time. I will wait for God's timing. I will pray expectantly. I will choose to praise God in advance. In my own life, it took years to see God's purpose and wink. I don't know how long it will take for you to see God's purpose or wink in your life. But I am praying for you right now that you choose joy that only comes from Christ. I pray that you choose to praise God in advance.
Just Jillian ;)