Worship That's Worth Something
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 43:5, ESV)
So, let’s talk about worship. More importantly, let’s talk about worship on those days where even getting out of bed is a big accomplishment. We’ve all been there, and I know you know what I’m talking about. Those days where staying asleep seems like the better option because reality hurts a little too much for your liking. Those days where your stomach is in knots, your joy is all dried up, and honest, heart-healing worship seems like an action that is next to impossible. But here’s the thing: anyone can worship when life is going great. Anyone can get fired up and jump around with their hands above their head and a smile on their face. By all means, that is praise. That is worship, and it’s a beautiful and freeing thing to be able to express joy and gratitude in the presence of the Lord. He delights in that. But what about when our souls are downcast? What about when there is turmoil within us? Sometimes, worship is labor. Some days, the personal pain will absolutely devastate us, but those are the days where it is so absolutely imperative that we dig our heels in and worship God anyway. I won’t lie to you. It will be difficult. It will take every ounce of power you have within you. It might mean sweat and tears, but without a doubt, that worship is so sweet to the Father. Let’s not forget the woman in Luke chapter 7, who enters a Pharisee's home to wash Jesus’ feet with perfume and her tears. When the Pharisee sees her, he’s indignant, saying that if Jesus were a prophet, surely He’d know that this woman was sinful. Yes, of course Jesus knows her circumstances, but He sees her heart. This woman knows anguish; she is no stranger to despair. If her tears were flowing enough to wash Jesus’ feet with, I’m gonna take the liberty of saying she was full-on ugly crying in the midst of a deep heartache. And Jesus sees this seemingly bizarre and egregious act for exactly what it is: an act of worship. The Savior of the world, in all His gentle kindness, lets her sob her little heart out, pouring a fragrant perfume of worship out of her agony. And after she’s dried His feet with her hair, He justifies her actions to the bewildered spectators in the room and forgives her of her sins. That woman knows honest worship. It’s not only about dancing a jig, spinning around, or lifting up a shout of praise. Sometimes, it’s about trying your absolute hardest to tell him you love him through bitter tears. I wish I could tell you that life-struggles are a thing of the past when we walk with Jesus. The truth is, loving the Lord doesn’t make you impervious or exempt from difficult days; but the good news is that those days become a lot more bearable when He is your hope. And that hope moves us to worship the only One who matters. Say what you want, but it takes a lot of guts to say, “I am hurting, yet still, I will praise you. I am hurting, yet still, I LOVE you.” That’s trusting in the Lord with every last inch of your heart. That is beautiful, breath-taking, and fragrant worship to the God that is our hope, even in our darkest hour. And that hope is worth a lot more than my silly, little words can say.