“If a burden and its resulting pressure come upon us while we are not in an attitude of worship, it will only produce a hardness toward God and despair in our own souls.” – Oswald Chambers
Last year I went through I and II Peter with the staff at YWAM Maui. This year I’m going through them again, thanks to the current series from Mars Hill. If you haven’t spent much time in these two books, I’d encourage you to as they’re incredibly rich in insight for how to live out our faith.
The short of it is that trials will come at us. Some times those trials will be, well, trying! To diminish them is often to live in denial. To deny that a Christian should experience trials at all is outright heresy, and a complete misreading of the Bible. Jesus himself said that when we put His principles in place in our lives that we will face trials and persecution (Matthew 5:11,12).
Life can be humming along nicely and we may not be in the practice of worship. Aside from highlighting a misunderstanding of God, this bad habit can also set us up for failure. When trials come, and come they will, if we are not in the habit of worship then things can stop humming in tune very quickly.
It has also been my experience that one trial, no matter how severe, will not correct the bad habit of not being in the practice of worship. I had two fairly large battles last year. And the first one, medically related, took me out and caused me to question just how firm my personal relationship with the Lord was. And did I learn? It took another large disorientating wave to knock me off of my feet at the end of the year, this time crushing my pride fairly well (tip, if you give you life to the Lord and don’t surrender your pride it will hurt when he sanctifies that part of you!), to realise that quite apart from Jesus deserving worship at all times I was built to worship Him in relationship with Him. This is the life giving part of the deal, and will put is in a position to handle the trials well.
When we suffer well, we represent Jesus well. When we take the knocks and still praise Him, we become more like Him. We need to worship Jesus, even rejoicing in the tough times (1 Peter 1:6). His grace is huge. When we worship Jesus for who He is, Jesus gets brighter, sin gets darker and his grace appears more powerful to us.