More From Ann Stewart

October 25, 2022 by Ann Stewart (South Australia, Australia)
Ann with a cast on her broken wrist

The fallen gum tree described in
today’s meditation

We certainly live in a broken world as we see brokenness all around us with the pandemic, natural disasters, wars, and in individual lives.  We live in very challenging times! We need to trust more than ever that our good God is still on the throne.

The minor problem of a broken wrist earlier in the year made life difficult and frustrating for me. My wrist took a lot longer to heal than I first imagined, and being unable to drive for six weeks was limiting. So I started thinking about how to live well when life is challenging and is not going smoothly.

Recently, God has been teaching me about the importance of praise and worship. As I get to know God more, I learn to trust God more. When I trust God more, I become amazed at God’s goodness and mercy toward me, which leads to worship. Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to worship and praise God. God knows that praise and worship is good for us! When I worship it’s impossible to worry; a thankful heart that praises God makes it difficult to complain.

In Psalm 119:163–165 I read how David stopped to pause seven times a day to praise and worship God. What if I tried to stop and praise God more regularly every day?  I am working on stopping more often to worship God during the day. Today I stopped and thanked God for the kindness of a stranger who offered to put a heavy bag of potting soil I had purchased in the boot of my car. How beautifully God provides for me! (I also thanked the woman who helped!) Sometimes I pause and worship with a song. I might raise my hands in praise for one of God’s attributes or put on some worship music and use that to praise God. When I take time to observe the beauty and wonder of God’s creation there is so much to be amazed at and praise God for. Worship and praise is a wonderful way to enjoy God.

I often don’t manage seven times, and I am not rigid about the exact times I pause. But praise and worship certainly takes my mind off myself and my problems. As I focus on God even for just a few minutes I feel worries lift and notice the presence of God around me. Psalm 22:3 says, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (KJV). We feel God’s love in a special way when we focus on God and God’s purposes. Noticing and acknowledging the many gifts and blessings God give us helps us to have thankful hearts. It is through the difficult times that we need to abide more in God’s presence. I am learning more and more how praise and worship are such a special and valuable part of my relationship with my friend Jesus, my Lord and King.

At the end of the book of Habakkuk, the prophet comes to the conclusion that despite any circumstance, we can praise God and live with joyful hearts. What a way to worship God in our broken world: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior (Hab. 3:18, NIV).

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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