Last Thursday as my daughter and I were in the front of the church leading in praise and worship, I opened my eyes and looked out on the small group of people in attendance. Generally, I keep my eyes closed quite a bit when leading in songs for a couple of reasons. First of all, it helps me to focus my thoughts more on the Lord, who is the One I am supposed to have my mind on in the first place. Second of all, there is less of a chance for distraction or discouragement with my eyes closed. When we first started the church here a little over 6 years ago, I often felt very conspicuous leading in worship. Starting a church from scratch, we had people coming that had not received teaching on praise and worship, so it was kind of unsettling when I did open my eyes to see folks looking at me with blank stares. Thankfully, that kind of response is not the norm anymore. This past Thursday as I opened my eyes and looked out on the congregation, I saw almost everybody participating in worship. I was blessed to see that their eyes were closed and their hands were uplifted as they focused their full attention on giving God praise and glory. As I watched my brothers and sisters in Christ, I thought about the various trials that they are presently facing. Some are going through difficult financial situations, others are facing serious marriage problems and some are dealing with discouraging health issues. I felt blessed though to see that in the midst of their struggles, these good folks are still lavishing praise upon the Lord. As I mused upon these things, a Scripture came to my mind.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
I wasn’t sure at the time why this Scripture came to mind, but later I started looking up more Scriptures that have to do with the kingdom.
The book of Romans states in chapter 14 and verse 17,
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Here at our church, we still believe and teach as the apostles did in the book of Acts in receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. If you have ever received this wondrous gift, you know that it is a gift that keeps on giving. As we worship God, He is gracious to impart more of that righteousness, peace and joy that come with being filled with His Spirit and having a relationship with Him.
Will God save us from all of our financial difficulties, health problems and trials that come our way? He certainly is able to, but sparing us from all adversity may not accomplish His purpose in our lives. Sometimes God would have us to walk through a valley for a season in order to teach us something we could not learn otherwise.
No, God will not save us from all of our troubles, but as a wise elder preacher I know once said, “ He will save us in our troubles.” I believe He does this by allowing us to partake of that spiritual kingdom that is mentioned in Romans. There’s just something about the Holy Ghost that gives us power to go on, even when circumstances in our lives are not the greatest. No matter how dark things may get, we don’t have to be afraid if we’ll just keeping giving God the praise and allow the Holy Ghost to produce that joy, peace and rest that we need so much. Thank you, Jesus!